Amazon.com Inc.

5 Things to Know Before the Stock Market Opens Wednesday

Source: NYSE

Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:

1. Futures fall with tech sell-off set to resume

U.S. stock futures declined early Wednesday, led by tech shares once again. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 120 points while S&P 500 futures traded 0.4% lower. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures lost 0.7%.

Big Tech shares including Alphabet, Microsoft, Netflix, Facebook and Apple traded in the red, as did shares of chipmakers Nvidia and AMD.

The technology sector pulled off a big intraday reversal in the previous session where the Nasdaq Composite erased a loss of more than 2% and ended the day flat. The blue-chip Dow, however, lost more than 450 points to suffer its worst day since February.

2. Inflation speeds up in April

Twenty/20

Inflation accelerated at its fastest pace since 2008 last month with the Consumer Price Index spiking 4.2% from a year ago, compared to the Dow Jones estimate for a 3.6% increase. The monthly gain was 0.8%, versus the expected 0.2%.

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the core CPI increased 3% from the same period in 2020 and 0.9% on a monthly basis. The respective estimates were 2.3% and 0.3%.

3. Gas shortages could worsen amid Colonial Pipeline disruption

A line of vehicles proceeds towards gas pumps at Costco, as Eric Howard directs traffic after a cyberattack crippled the biggest fuel pipeline in the country, run by Colonial Pipeline, in Norfolk, Virginia, May 11, 2021.
Jay Paul | Reuters
A line of vehicles proceeds towards gas pumps at Costco, as Eric Howard directs traffic after a cyberattack crippled the biggest fuel pipeline in the country, run by Colonial Pipeline, in Norfolk, Virginia, May 11, 2021.

Gasoline prices could rise further if the Colonial Pipeline is not back in business by the weekend, and there could be broader localized fuel shortages across the Southeast and mid-Atlantic regions.

Colonial Pipeline, which stopped transmissions Friday after a ransomware attack, said it expects to restore a substantial amount of operations by the end of the week. However, it's still unclear how much of the operations will be up and running. U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said federal agencies are working around the clock to help the pipeline return to normal.

The attack, carried out by a criminal cyber crime group known as DarkSide, resulted in the shutdown of 5,500 miles of pipeline. The artery supplies half of the gasoline to the East Coast and runs from Texas to New Jersey.

Gasoline stations that could not get enough fuel were already closed in some states, and prices jumped overnight, by as much as 10 cents or more per gallon in some areas.

4. Amazon wins appeal over $300 million EU tax bill

Amazon logo seen displayed on a smartphone.
Igor Golovniov | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images
Amazon logo seen displayed on a smartphone.

Amazon on Wednesday won its appeal against the European Commission, which had ordered the U.S. tech giant to pay back 250 million euros ($303 million) in taxes to Luxembourg.

The EU's general court said the commission had failed to prove that there was an illegal tax advantage given to Amazon by Luxembourg — where the U.S. firm has its European subsidiary.

The Brussels-based commission said in 2017 that Luxembourg had granted undue tax benefits to Amazon. The commission said at the time that Amazon was allowed to pay four times less tax than other local companies subject to the same national rules.

5. Tesla’s China sales tumble 27% in April

A Tesla charging station in a hotel parking lot.
Zhang Peng | LightRocket | Getty Images
A Tesla charging station in a hotel parking lot.

Tesla sold 25,845 made-in-China vehicles last month, down 27% from 35,478 in March, according to fthe China Passenger Car Association. Tesla's sales decline came amid an overall 12% month-on-month drop in April for new energy passenger cars in China, according to the association. The category includes pure-electric and hybrid cars. Shares of Tesla dipped about 1% in premarket trading Wednesday.

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