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What to Watch Today: Stock Futures Rise After S&P 500 Closes on Brink of a Bear Market

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures bounced Friday, one day after continued selling on Wall Street that saw the S&P 500 close on the doorstep of the joining the Nasdaq in a bear market. Those two stock benchmarks were headed for their seventh straight weekly losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which also closed lower Thursday, was poised for its eighth down week in a row. The Dow was locked in a steep correction. (CNBC)

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, fell Friday. The 10-year Treasury yield was trading around 2.9%. That's just under the key 3% level that's been breached on and off for weeks as traders push yields higher on the belief that the Fed will have to hike interest rates more aggressively to get inflation under control. (CNBC)

China cut a key reference rate for mortgages by an unexpectedly wide margin Friday. That's the second reduction this year in this key rate as Beijing seeks to revive the country's ailing housing sector and prop up the world's second-largest economy hampered by Covid lockdowns. (Reuters)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Ross Stores (ROST) became the latest retail stock slammed after signaling that inflation was a problem. Shares of the off-price retailer sank 26% in the premarket, following quarterly misses on profit and revenue. In its first-quarter earnings release, out after the closing bell Thursday, Ross Stores also issued downbeat guidance.

The CDC is recommending a Pfizer (PFE) Covid booster shot for kids 5 to 11 at least five months after their primary vaccination series. Thursday's move comes as Covid infections are on the rise across the country and immunity from the first two doses wanes. The agency is rolling out boosters for 5- to 11-year-olds even though most children in that age group haven't received their first two doses yet. (CNBC)

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet late Thursday that "wild accusations" against him are not true. He did not explain what those accusations were. But his response came after a Business Insider report on Thursday said the aerospace company had paid $250,000 in severance to a flight attendant who accused the billionaire of sexual misconduct.

Russia may have just made its first retaliatory move against Finland after lawmakers in Helsinki officially applied to join the military alliance NATO. Gasum, Finland's state-owned gas wholesaler, said in a statement Friday morning that natural gas imports from Russia will be halted from Saturday. (CNBC)

President Joe Biden opened his first trip to Asia in South Korea on Friday. He'll end his visit to the continent in Japan next week, at a time when world events are resetting the foundations of the global order. Biden's visit comes as U.S. allies face a growing threat from North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile program. (AP)

* North Korea could launch a missile or nuclear test to 'overshadow' Biden's trip (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Deckers Outdoor (DECK) surged 13.8% in the premarket after the footwear company beat top and bottom-line estimates for its latest quarter. Deckers earned $2.51 per share, compared with a consensus estimate of $1.32, as net income more than doubled from a year earlier.

Foot Locker (FL) reported an adjusted quarterly profit of $1.60 per share, 5 cents above estimates. Revenue was slightly below forecasts. Same-store sales fell by less than half of what was anticipated by analysts. Shares of the athletic footwear and apparel retailer added 1% in the premarket.

VF Corp. (VFC) added 2.6% in premarket trading despite slight misses on the top and bottom lines for the latest quarter. The company behind apparel brands, such as North Face, Vans and Timberland, raised its full-year earnings forecast, based on expectations that there will be no additional Covid-19 lockdowns that impact production and that inflation will not worsen.

Deere (DE) fell 4.4% in premarket trading after quarterly revenue missed Street forecasts. The heavy equipment maker beat earnings estimates by 10 cents, reporting $6.81 per share, as a jump in worldwide crop prices helped spur demand. The company also raised its annual profit outlook.

DoorDash (DASH) announced the authorization of a $400 million stock buyback program. The food delivery company said the move will offset dilution stemming from its employee stock compensation program. The stock added 2.2% in premarket action.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW) rallied 12.1% in premarket trading after the cybersecurity company reported better-than-expected profit and revenue for its latest quarter. It also raised its full-year guidance for the third time.

Boeing (BA) rose 2% in premarket action following the successful launch of its Starliner aircraft, which is now heading toward the International Space Station. The uncrewed flight came after months of delays.

Applied Materials (AMAT) fell 1.2% in the premarket after missing top and bottom-line estimates for its latest quarter. The semiconductor manufacturing equipment maker also issued a weaker-than-expected forecast. Supply chain issues for Applied Materials have been amplified by the Covid-19 lockdowns in China.

Ollie's Bargain Outlet (OLLI) jumped 6.4% in premarket trading after Bank of America Securities double-upgraded the discount retailer's stock to buy from underperform. BofA based its recommendation on a meaningful improvement in the supply of closeout items, due to over-ordering by retailers and a drop-off in consumer spending on durable goods.

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