Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Stocks set to continue Tuesday's rally at open, bond yields dip
- CVS, Taco Bell parent Yum Brands lead the before-the-bell earnings
- Chipotle, Lyft are premarket movers, the morning after earnings
- New York set to decide on fate of its Covid mask mandates
- DOJ says it seized over $3.6 billion in allegedly stolen crypto
1. Stocks set to continue Tuesday's rally at open, bond yields dip
Dow futures rose nearly 250 points, or nearly 0.7%, on Wednesday. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures pointed to even stronger gains at the open, one day after all three stock benchmarks mounted a solid rally. The Nasdaq's second positive session in the past three was helping the index move closer to getting out of correction territory. Earnings are once again the story on Wall Street, with Dow stock Disney scheduled to come out with quarterly results after the bell Wednesday. Peloton gave up earlier premarket gains and turned lower after soaring more than 25% as the connected fitness company announced a new CEO and job cuts. The embattled stock was still down roughly 75% from its all-time high nearly a year ago.
Tech stocks, which were slammed by rising bond yields last month, shrugged off Tuesday's 10-year Treasury yield jump to 1.96%, a high back to November 2019. The 10-year yield ticked lower Wednesday, one day before the government releases its January read on consumer inflation, which is expected to show continuing large increases. The Federal Reserve has already signaled a monetary policy pivot to address historically high price rises. The market expects at least five interest rate hikes this year, starting in March.
2. CVS, Taco Bell parent Yum Brands lead the before-the-bell earnings
CVS Health shares fell 2.7% in the premarket after the pharmacy chain said Wednesday that demand for Covid vaccines and at-home Covid tests lifted overall store sales, helping the company top expectations for fourth-quarter earnings and revenue. CVS is overhauling its stores to have a health-care focus. Starting this spring, it plans to shutter about 900 locations – or 9% of the company's roughly 10,000 U.S. stores – over the next three years.
Yum Brands shares rose nearly 1.5% in the premarket after the Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut owner said Wednesday higher costs weighed on profits, leading to a quarterly earnings miss. Revenue slightly beat estimates. All the company's restaurant chains saw shrinking margins. However, all three chains reported higher same-store sales for the quarter, with Taco Bell leading the way with an 8% rise.
3. Chipotle, Lyft are premarket movers, the morning after earnings
Chipotle Mexican Grill shares soared 7.5% in Wednesday's premarket, the morning after the company reported quarterly earnings that beat estimates and revenue that matched expectations. Chipotle said its customers stuck with the restaurant chain despite menu price increases to deal with high food and labor costs. The company also said it's likely prices will go up again later this year.
Lyft shares trimmed earlier losses in the premarket after the ride-hailing service reported Tuesday evening ridership below analysts' estimates. Lyft said higher fares and longer trips helped quarterly earnings slightly beat estimates. Revenue also exceeded expectations. Rival Uber is set to issue its results after the bell Wednesday.
4. New York set to decide on fate of its Covid mask mandates
New York's governor and health officials are deciding whether to end or extend two Covid mask mandates, one in schools, the other in most other public indoor settings, like grocery stores, shops and offices. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, plans to make an announcement Wednesday. Dropping the mask orders would put New York in line with many so-called blue states making similar moves. New Jersey plans to lift indoor masking requirements in schools in early March. California is ending its indoor masking requirement for vaccinated people next week, but keeping it in schools.
5. DOJ says it seized over $3.6 billion in allegedly stolen crypto
The Justice Department said it seized more than $3.6 billion in allegedly stolen cryptocurrency linked to the 2016 hack of Bitfinex. As part of the operation, authorities detained a New York couple on allegations they planned to launder the digital goods. Officials said they arrested Ilya Lichtenstein, 34, and his wife, Heather Morgan, 31. Morgan wrote an article in Forbes last summer with the headline: "Experts Share Tips To Protect Your Business From Cybercriminals." She's also an aspiring rapper and goes by the name Razzlekhan, calling herself the "infamous Crocodile of Wall Street." She can be seen on a video rapping in front of the New York Stock Exchange.