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What to Watch Today: Wall Street Set to Drop After Hot Inflation Data, Ahead of Fed Meeting

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BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures extended Tuesday's decline after another hot inflation report. On the first day of the Federal Reserve's final, scheduled two-day meeting of the year, the government said November producer prices soared 9.6% year over year. That was the fastest pace on record and higher than expectations. (CNBC)

To combat inflation, the Fed will double the pace of its bond-buying taper at its December meeting, which would roughly end monthly asset purchases by March, according to the latest CNBC Fed Survey. The central bank will then hike rates three times in each of the next two years, starting in June 2022, according to the survey.

Following last week's stellar performance, tech stocks were under pressure again in the premarket after leading the Nasdaq lower by 1.4%. The index finished 4% away from its Nov. 19 record close. The S&P 500, which closed at a record Friday, lost nearly 1% to start the new week. The Dow also fell close to 1%, pushing the 30-stock average more than 2% away from its Nov. 8 record close. (CNBC)

Meme stocks GameStop (GME) and AMC Entertainment (AMC) were under pressure again in premarket trading. GameStop fell nearly 14% to $136.88 on Tuesday, its lowest close since March. AMC dropped 15% to $23.24, its lowest close since late May. Apple (AAPL) fell slightly in the premarket, one day after it came close to becoming a $3 trillion company, before shares closed down 2%.

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Pfizer (PFE) said Tuesday that final analysis of its antiviral Covid pill still showed near 90% efficacy in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk patients. Recent lab data also suggested the drug retains effectiveness against omicron. Nobody in the trial who received the Pfizer treatment died. (Retuers)

In results of a large-scale study in South Africa released Tuesday, Pfizer's two-shot Covid vaccine provided 70% protection against hospitalization from the new variant. The study has been conducted in the weeks since omicron was first announced in November by scientists in South Africa and Botswana. (AP)

The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday to raise the federal government's $28.9 trillion debt ceiling, avoiding the risk of an default later this month. Senate Republicans wanted to link the borrowing limit hike to President Joe Biden's proposed $1.75 trillion Build Back Better domestic spending bill, a measure they oppose. (Reuters)

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has signaled he's still not ready to back his party's Build Back Better plan. The West Virginia lawmaker spoke to Biden on Monday, saying only that the president and he are "talking about different iterations" and that "anything's possible" when asked if they could reach a deal by Christmas. (AP)

Tesla (TSLA) — up around 35% in 2021 — fell 1% early Tuesday after CEO Elon Musk sold another $906.5 million worth of shares. Musk, who is the wealthiest person in the world and who was just named Time magazine's 2021 Person of the Year, still has millions of stock options that he needs to exercise by August 2022. (CNBC)

* Dogecoin spikes 20% after Musk says Tesla will accept it for merch (CNBC)

Ford (F) dropped 1%, hit by plans from Toyota to invest $35 billion into battery-powered EVs, an area that Ford wants to establish itself as a leader. Toyota (TM) aims to increase global sales of battery electric vehicles by 3.5 million units a year by 2030. (CNBC)

Starbucks (SBUX) baristas at two Boston cafes filed for union elections on Monday, becoming the coffee giant's third U.S. market this year to organize. It comes after a historic win for Starbucks workers last week, when employees at one Buffalo cafe voted to form a union. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Beyond Meat (BYND) jumped 4.8% in the premarket, putting it in a position to break a three-day losing streak. Piper Sandler upgraded the stock to "neutral" from "underweight," saying a nationwide launch at McDonald's (MCD) could happen within less than three months.

Weibo (WB) slid 5.3% in the premarket after the China-based social networking company was fined 3 million yuan (about $471,000) by regulators, who said some of Weibo's accounts and content violated various laws and regulations.

Terminix Global (TMX) soared roughly 22% in the premarket after the pest control company agreed to be acquired by British rival Rentokil for $6.7 billion in cash and stock.

Alcoa (AA) rallied 4.2% in premarket trading following news that the stock will be added to the S&P Midcap 400 Index prior to the opening of trading next Monday. It replaces Hill-Rom Holdings, which is being acquired by Baxter International (BAX).

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