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What to Watch Today: Stock Futures Sink as Tech Names Slide, Bitcoin Plunges

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures fell sharply Wednesday, with tech names under pressure, bitcoin plunging and bond yields rising. Wall Street was set up for a third straight day of losses after the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq each lost just under 1% on Tuesday. In last week's wild ride, the three stock benchmarks had their worst weekly performance since February. (CNBC)

Bitcoin on Wednesday plunged below $40,000 for the first time in 14 weeks. In fact, the world's biggest cryptocurrency hit a morning low of below $37,000 per unit, an over 40% decline from last month's all-time high near $65,000. However, bitcoin was still up about 40% year to date and more than 300% in the past 12 months. (CNBC)

Shares of Tesla, which invested company cash in bitcoin, fell about 3% in Wednesday's premarket to around $561. One week ago, bitcoin dropped below $50,000 and Tesla shares dropped below $600 each after CEO Elon Musk suspended electric vehicle purchases using bitcoin over concerns about the environmental impact of digital currency mining. Tesla shares hit an all-time high of $900 on Jan. 25. (CNBC)

The 10-year Treasury yield topped 1.67% early Wednesday, ahead of the afternoon release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's April policy meeting. The 10-year yield went above 1.7% in last week's stock sell-off, the highest level in more than a month following a run of 14-month highs in March. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Shares of Target (TGT), already up nearly 17% in 2021, was ready to add another 3% after the retailer reported better-than-expected earnings of $3.69 per share on a revenue jump of 23% to $24.2 billion in the first quarter. Target benefited from a reopening economy and shoppers having extra cash due to stimulus checks. The company sees modest growth for the rest of the year. (CNBC)

Shares of Lowe's (LOW), up 20% this year, was set to drop over 2% at Wednesday's open despite stronger-than-expected earnings of $3.21 per share on a nearly 24% jump in revenue to $24.4 billion in the first quarter. Worries crept in due to challenges facing the housing market, including a labor shortage and rising lumber prices. (CNBC)

New York State Attorney General Letitia James' office, already conducting a civil investigation of former President Donald Trump's company, is now also probing the Trump Organization "in a criminal capacity" as well, her spokesman said last night. (CNBC)

The House is set to approve today a 9/11-style commission on the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, a first step toward creating an independent, bipartisan panel that would investigate the siege and try to prevent it from happening again. The measures faces a tougher time in the split Senate. (AP)

India reported its highest single-day increase in Covid deaths as infections stayed below 300,000 for the third straight day. On Wednesday, health ministry data showed at least 4,529 people died from the disease over a 24-hour period. India has had more than 25 million cases and over 283,000 deaths so far. (CNBC)

* NY to adopt new CDC mask guidance for fully vaccinated people, starting today (CNBC)
* GOP Texas governor to fine cities, local officials if they impose mask mandates (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WACH

Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) earned 94 cents per share for its fiscal fourth quarter, beating estimates of 67 cents per share. The video game maker's revenue also beat forecasts, as it continued to benefit from the pandemic-induced increase in video game activity. Take-Two gave a lighter-than-expected forecast, however, as confidence in vaccinations prompts more people to leave their homes. The company's shares added 2% in the premarket.

JD.com (JD), a China-based e-commerce company, reported better-than-expected profit and revenue for the first quarter, with an expanded product lineup helping expand active customer accounts by 29% compared to a year earlier. JD.com's U.S. shares gained 1% in the premarket.

AstraZeneca's (AZN) Covid vaccine works well as a third booster shot, according to a study by co-developer Oxford University reported by the Financial Times.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) said its April revenue increased from March levels due to improvements in leisure travel, and said leisure fare levels are nearing where they were in June 2019. Southwest warned, however, that business travel demand is still significantly lagging leisure travel. Its shares lost 1.5% in premarket trading.

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