5 issues to know earlier than the inventory market opens Thursday, March 25


Here are the top news, trends, and analysis that investors need to get their trading day started:

1. Stock futures are going lower on comments from Fed Chairman Powell

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Source: NYSE

US stock futures fell Thursday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told NPR’s Morning Edition that Covid stimulus and vaccinations could help the US economy recover faster than expected that central bankers may at some point be able to withdraw the emergency aid.

The late-day selling reversed gains, dragging the S&P 500 down 0.6% on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell in the closing seconds of Wednesday’s session. The Nasdaq fell 2% after a slightly higher open gave way to a selling day. Tech stocks were lower despite 10-year government bond yields below the recent 14-month high as market rotation from soaring growth names continued. The Nasdaq last closed at a record high in February. The Dow and S&P 500 last closed at record highs last week.

The Department of Labor reported 684,000 on Thursday morning new claims for unemployment benefit last week. That was much better than estimates for 735,000, and for the first time since the Covid pandemic started just over a year ago, initial weekly jobless claims were below 700,000.

A separate government release on Thursday morning showed that US economic growth was stronger than expected in the fourth quarter. The third and final reading of gross domestic product in the fourth quarter found it was up 4.3% from previous estimates and the Wall Street consensus of 4.1%.

2. AstraZeneca revises Covid vaccine data with a lower effectiveness rate

A healthcare worker prepares to inject a vaccine against AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Eloisa Lopez

AstraZeneca has released updated Covid vaccine numbers from its late-stage study in the US and Latin America after US health officials questioned the accuracy of preliminary data earlier this week. The UK-based drug giant now says its vaccine is 76% effective against symptomatic virus cases. A press release published on Monday found an effectiveness rate of 79%. AstraZeneca reiterated that its two-shot regime was “well tolerated” among participants and no safety concerns were identified.

3. Biden holds first presidency press conference

United States President Joe Biden replaces his face mask after an Equal Pay Day event in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on March 24, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

The White House announced Thursday that it is allocating an additional $ 10 billion to boost vaccination rates in low-income, minority and rural communities. More than 25% of the total US population received at least one dose of vaccine, including 14% who were fully vaccinated. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine contains only one shot.

Against the backdrop of increasing cases of Covid in many states and more than 30 million U.S. infections, President Joe Biden will hold his first presidential press conference. He is expected to indicate a surge in vaccinations, which is driving signs for the economy and what benefits Americans will get from the latest major stimulus package. After mass shootings in Colorado and Georgia, he is also likely to face a variety of issues, from border security between the US and Mexico to gun control.

4. Oil prices are falling as Covid concerns outweigh the Suez Canal disruption

Cropped satellite images captured on March 23, 2021 show the cargo container ship Ever Given blocking the Suez Canal in Egypt.

Planet Labs

Oil prices fell Thursday as fuel demand concerns resurfaced and worries about regressions in the global fight against Covid resurfaced. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil and Brent International Benchmark prices each fell around 2% a day after falling nearly 6% due to ship disruptions caused by the landing of a giant container ship in the Suez Canal, a major oil trading route. had risen. It could take weeks to fix the problem, according to the CEO of a Dutch company helping with the recovery effort.

5. Legislators are pushing technical CEOs to use language and misinformation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says before the House’s Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee during a hearing on “Online Platforms and Market Power” in the Rayburn House office building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on July 29th 2020 off.

Almond Ngan | Pool via Reuters

Those in charge of Big Tech should testify on Thursday at a hearing of the virtual house panel how they should prevent their platforms from spreading falsehoods and inciting violence. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, which owns Google and YouTube, become one after the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and the rise in misinformation about Covid vaccines be exposed to increased pressure. Increasingly, Congress supports the introduction of new restrictions on the legal protection of speeches published online.

– Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. Get the latest information on the pandemic on CNBC’s coronavirus blog.