5 things you should know before the stock market opens on Thursday July 29th

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Here are the key news, trends, and analysis investors need to start their trading day:

1. Dow futures rise after Fed keeps rates near zero

A trader works behind plexiglass on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, New York, USA, 28 July 2021.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

Dow futures rose more than 100 points on Thursday, a day after the 30-stock average, and the S&P 500 fell slightly and the Nasdaq rose modestly. All three benchmarks finished less than 1% from Monday’s record high after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said at his post-meeting news conference that significant economic improvement was needed for the central bank to begin rolling back monetary policy . On the fiscal side, the Senate voted Wednesday evening in favor of a bipartisan infrastructure plan, a crucial step in the Democrats’ approval of their comprehensive economic agenda.

  • With stocks in mind: Dow stock Merck fell in the premarket after the drugmarker matched estimates with quarterly earnings and exceeded sales expectations. Amazon reports profits after the bell Thursday.
  • Trevor Milton, founder of Nikola, has been charged with three fraud charges by the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan in connection with the investigation into the contested electric vehicle startup. Nikola shares, which have lost more than half their value in the past 12 months, fell 6% in Thursday’s pre-trading session.
  • Uber Technologies lost 5.1% in early trading after sources told CNBC that Japanese investment giant Softbank is selling part of its stake in Uber to cover losses related to its investment in another rideshare company, Didi Global.
  • Didi himself is in the news, denying an earlier Wall Street Journal report that he is considering going private. Before this rejection, Didi had risen well over 30% in the premarket before reducing this still large profit to 17.5%.

2. Current GDP, initial jobless claims weaker than expected

In the latest snapshot of the economic recovery from the Covid pandemic, the Commerce Department said Thursday morning that its first look at gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 6.5% in the second quarter, a huge mistake compared to estimates for growth of 8.4%.

The Department of Labor also reported ahead of the opening bell on Wall Street that 400,000 initial jobless claims were filed last week, slightly worse than expected. The previous week’s level has been revised to 424,000. Initial filings for the week ending July 10 of 368,000 marked the low point of the Covid era last month.

3. Robinhood will make its public debut after the IPO

Vlad Tenev, CEO and Co-Founder of Robinhood, at his office in Menlo Park, California on July 15, 2021.

Kimberly White | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Robinhood, whose stock trading app has become increasingly popular with retail investors, is slated to debut on the Nasdaq on Thursday. The IPO was valued at its low at $ 38 on Wednesday night, which grossed about $ 2 billion and valued the company at about $ 32 billion. However, the company is not undisputed.

  • Earlier this year, during the initial meme stock frenzy, Robinhood angered some investors and lawmakers when it restricted trading in some popular stocks after deposit requirements at its clearinghouse increased 10x.
  • The company announced this week that it had received inquiries from U.S. regulators about whether its employees were trading shares in GameStop and AMC Entertainment before trading restrictions were put in place in late January.
  • In June, Robinhood agreed to pay nearly $ 70 million to settle an investigation by Wall Street’s own regulator.

4. Facebook warns of growth, sets vaccination mandate

A giant digital sign can be seen on the campus of Facebook’s corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, California on October 23, 2019.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

Facebook shares fell about 3.5% in the premarket on Thursday, the morning after the social network announced that sales growth will slow in the second half of the year. Facebook cited a change in Apple’s privacy policy that would affect the social network’s ability to target advertisements. In the second quarter, Facebook reported earnings of $ 3.61 per share on revenue of $ 29.08 billion. Both exceeded estimates. Daily active users and monthly active users each met expectations.

Facebook requires employees returning to its US offices to get vaccinated, the company said on Wednesday. “How we implement this policy depends on local conditions and regulations,” said Facebook manager Lori Goler in a statement. Facebook will create processes for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons, Goler said, adding that the company will continue to evaluate its approach outside of the US

5. Disney, Apple bring back Covid mask requirements

Guests wear masks. upon need. to attend Magic Kingdom’s Official Reopening Day at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on Saturday, July 11, 2020.

Joe Burbank | Orlando Sentinel | Getty Images

Disney has changed the mask policy at its US-based theme parks following new guidelines from health and government officials. Starting Friday, the company will require all guests, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks indoors at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the Disneyland Resort in California. Children under 2 years are excluded.

People walk past an Apple retail store in New York City on July 13, 2021.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

Apple will require vaccinated and unvaccinated customers and employees to wear masks in many of its U.S. retail stores starting Thursday, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC’s Josh Lipton. Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC the company had postponed its return to work plans for corporate employees from September to October and may be postponing again.

– Reuters and CNBC Peter Schacknow contributed to this report. Follow all market activity like a pro on CNBC Pro. Get the latest on the pandemic with coronavirus coverage from CNBC.

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