BY THE NUMBERS
The Dow is set to drop at Wednesday's open, with futures erasing earlier gains of 200 points as bond yield moved higher. Late-session selling reversed a strong rally Tuesday as well. Coming off heir best days since November, the 30-stock average fell 0.5% on Tuesday and the Nasdaq dropped 1.7% as tech stocks pulled back. The S&P 500 slid 0.8%, a day after its biggest one-day advance since June. (CNBC)
* Cathie Wood bought $95 million worth of Zoom on Tuesday's stock drop (CNBC Pro)
U.S. companies added a disappointing 117,000 new jobs in February, according the latest ADP private sector employment report. Economists had expected gains of 225,000 positions. January's additions were upwardly revised to 195,000. The ADP lately has not been the best predictor of the government's monthly jobs report, which comes out Friday. (CNBC)
* Mortgage demand stalls as rates surge to the highest level since July (CNBC)
* 10% GDP growth? U.S. economy is on fire and about to get stoked even more (CNBC)
Also on today's economic calendar, the Institute for Supply Management issues its nonmanufacturing index for February at 10 a.m. ET, and the Fed releases its latest Beige Book region-by-region assessment of the U.S. economy at 2 p.m. ET. (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
The Senate is expected to start debate as soon as Wednesday on its version of the House-passed, $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill. However, it excludes a federal minimum wage boost to $15 per hour. President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged Democrats to stand united and approve the measure, even as some party moderates sought to dial back parts of the package. (AP)
The U.S. will have a large enough supply of coronavirus vaccines to inoculate "every adult in America" by the end of May, two months earlier than previously expected, Biden said at the White House on Tuesday. The announcement came as the administration works to increase production of Johnson & Johnson's newly cleared single-shot vaccine, and rival Merck agrees to pitch in. (CNBC)
* Biden urges states to vaccinate teachers, school staff this month (CNBC)
* J&J chief on Merck partnership: 'Extraordinary times take extraordinary efforts' (CNBC)
* 'Vaccine, vaccine': Dolly sings 'Jolene' rewrite before shot (AP)
The Republican governors of Texas and Mississippi both announced Tuesday that they're lifting mask mandates in their states and allowing businesses to reopen at full capacity even as the decline in new daily Covid-19 cases slows. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Monday warned states against lifting public health restrictions too quickly. (CNBC)
America's biggest companies are urging Congress to establish a permanent path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. In a letter Wednesday, a coalition of more than 100 companies and trade associations asked Senate leaders to pass the bipartisan Dream Act of 2021. (CNBC)
Rocket Companies fell 6% in Wednesday's premarket trading after more than doubling over the past three sessions. On Tuesday, the Quicken Loans and Rocket Mortgage parent surged over 71% on no apparent news. The heavily shorted stock appears to have garnered bullish interest from day traders on Reddit's WallStreetBets forum. (CNBC)
* Rocket shares downgraded by RBC because of 'abnormal' trading activity (CNBC Pro)
Casino operator Las Vegas Sands said Wednesday it would sell its Vegas real estate and operations to private equity giant Apollo Global Management for about $6.25 billion. The properties include the Venetian Resort Las Vegas and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Shares of Las Vegas Sands were up almost 3% in the premarket. Apollo fell nearly 1%. (Reuters)
Oscar Health (OSCR) is set to debut Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The health insurance startup backed by Google-parent Alphabet priced its initial public offering Tuesday evening at $39 per share, above the already-raised expected range of $36 to $38. The IPO gives Oscar Health a market value of $7.7 billion ahead of trading. (CNBC)
Microsoft (MSFT) said that China-based government hackers have exploited a bug in its email server software to target U.S. organizations. A "highly skilled and sophisticated" state-sponsored group operating from China has been trying to steal information from a number of American targets, Microsoft added. (AP)
Federal national security officials are set to testify Wednesday in a second Senate hearing about what went wrong on Jan. 6. They'll face questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob of Donald Trump supporters laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. (AP)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Lyft (LYFT): The ride-hailing company said that last week saw the highest level of ride volume since the pandemic took hold last March. As a result, Lyft expects to report a smaller quarterly loss than it had previously projected. Lyft shares jumped 5.6% in premarket trading.
Nordstrom (JWN): Nordstrom earned 21 cents per share for its latest quarter, 7 cents a share above estimates. The retailer also reported better-than-expected revenue. Nordstrom was helped by a boost in digital sales as well as growth in its off-price operation, but the retailer warned that it would have to clear excess holiday inventory through that off-price channel. Shares fell 2.6% in premarket action.
Urban Outfitters (URBN) – Urban Outfitters beat estimates by 2 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of 30 cents per share. The apparel retailer's revenue fell slightly below Wall Street forecasts, however, and gross profit margins dropped more than 3 percentage points from a year earlier. Its shares fell 1.6% in the premarket.
Ross Stores (ROST) – Ross Stores sank 3.1% in the premarket after it reported quarterly earnings of 67 cents per share, below the $1.00 a share consensus estimate. The discount retailer's revenue came in below estimates as well, hurt by pandemic-related store closures in California.
Dollar Tree (DLTR): The discount retailer earned $2.13 per share for the fourth quarter, beating estimates by 2 cents a share. Revenue essentially was in line with expectations. Comparable-store sales rose 4.9%, short of the 5.5% estimate of analysts surveyed by FactSet. The company's shares fell 2% in the premarket.
Wendy's (WEN): The restaurant chain missed estimates by a penny a share, with quarterly earnings of 17 cents per share. Revenue came in short of forecasts as well. Global comparable sales rose 4.7%, shy of the FactSet consensus estimate of 5.7% due primarily to international weakness. Its shares fell 3.3% in the premarket.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE): HPE beat estimates by 11 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of 52 cents per share. The enterprise computing hardware maker's revenue came in above forecasts as well. The company issued strong guidance for both the current quarter and full year, as it continues to benefit from the pandemic-inspired digital transformation.
Box (BOX): Box reported quarterly earnings of 22 cents per share, 5 cents a share above estimates. Revenue beat projections as well. The online data storage company also issued a better-than-expected full-year outlook and expects that the current quarter will see revenue above $200 million for the first time.
FuboTV (FUBO): FuboTV reported quarterly revenue in excess of $100 million for the first time, with the live sports streaming company reporting a better-than-expected $105.1 million in sales. Subscriber numbers jumped 73% from a year earlier to a total of 548,000. Its shares fell 4% in the premarket, however, following a nearly 50% year-to-date jump.
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced he will choose eight members of the public to join him on a trip around the moon, scheduled to fly on Elon Musk's SpaceX Starship rocket in 2023. Maezawa has said he "will pay for the entire journey." (CNBC)