5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday
Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
Stock futures under pressure as selling in tech stocks continues
Fauci says a redefinition of fully vaccinated is ‘on the table’
Darden shares fall as CEO announces plans to retire, wages rise
Rivian slides after officials cut 2021 EV production expectations
FedEx reinstates 2022 profit target, shares jump
1. Stock futures under pressure as selling in tech stocks continues
Tech stocks continued to slide in the premarket Friday, one day after they got crushed and sent the Nasdaq down nearly 2.5%. The S&P 500 on Thursday fell nearly 1%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had been higher earlier in Thursday’s session, closed down 0.08%.
The move in the Nasdaq erased Wednesday’s big jump after Wall Street seemed OK with the Federal Reserve‘s decision to accelerate its bond-buying taper and signal three interest rate hikes next year.
The S&P 500, which traded above last week’s record close at one point Thursday, ended the day nearly 1% away from that level.
The Dow ended the session nearly 1.5% away from last month’s record close. The Nasdaq ended nearly 5.5% away from last month’s record close.
2. Fauci says a redefinition of fully vaccinated is ‘on the table’
Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNBC on Friday that changing the definition of fully vaccinated against Covid is “certainly on the table.” The White House’s chief medical advisor said there’s no doubt the best protection against infection is two shots of the either Pfizer‘s or Moderna‘s vaccines and a booster shot.
Fauci said that while the delta variant continues to surge, omicron is “spreading very efficiently.” There’s been “a lot of breakthrough infections” nationwide, he added.
New York City officials said as of Sunday the Covid test positivity rate in the city was 7.8%, up from 3.9% just three days before.
Fauci also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation of Pfizer and Moderna over the Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine was made after very recent data on rare side-effects.
3. Darden shares fall as CEO announces plans to retire, wages rise
Darden Restaurants on Friday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analysts’ expectations. The Olive Garden parent also announced that CEO Gene Lee will retire May 29. The board elected Chief Operating Officer Rick Cardenas as its next chief executive. Cardenas will also join the board on May 30, while Lee will stick around as executive chairman until the next shareholder vote, when he is expected to be reelected as non-executive chairman. Additionally, the company is accelerating its plans to hike wages. Darden raised its fiscal 2022 forecast, anticipating higher sales and earnings than initially forecast. Still, shares fell 3.5% in premarket trading.
4. Rivian slides after officials cut 2021 EV production expectations
Shares of Rivian Automotive plummeted 8% in Friday’s premarket, the morning after CEO RJ Scaringe and other executives reported a surge in customer reservations but cut vehicle production expectations for the year. The updates came alongside Rivian’s first quarterly report as a public company, which was largely in line with expectations, and confirmation of plans for a new $5 billion plant in Georgia that’s expected to come online in 2024. Rivian, whose stakeholders include Amazon and Ford Motor, was the first automaker to go to market with an all-electric pickup truck called the R1T. It went public through a blockbuster IPO in November.
5. FedEx reinstates 2022 profit target, shares jump
FedEx reinstated its original fiscal 2022 forecast after the bell Thursday, even as persistent labor problems chipped away at profits ahead of the peak holiday season, when the number of packages it handles often doubles. Shares jumped 5% in the premarket. FedEx reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue. Worker shortages disrupted normal workflows, resulting in network inefficiencies, including higher transportation costs. Those factors increased costs by an estimated $470 million year over year.