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What to Watch Today: Nasdaq Set to Sink Again as Big Tech Slide Continues

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were mostly lower Tuesday, pointing to a 1.8% decline in the Nasdaq, one day after the index sank nearly 2.5% in its worst single-day drop in almost a month. Tech stocks continued to slide in Tuesday's premarket, with Apple down 2% after closing lower by nearly 3% Monday. (CNBC)

The S&P 500 on Monday fell almost 0.8%, in a fifth straight decline, its worst streak in nearly a year. The Dow Jones Industrial Averaged bucked Monday's downdraft, closing slightly higher. It's doing so again Tuesday morning. All three stock benchmarks remained stronger for the month. (CNBC)

As part of mandated semiannual economic testimony, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell goes to Capitol Hill twice this week, appearing Tuesday before the Senate Finance Committee and Wednesday before the House Financial Services (CNBC)

Bitcoin plunged 9% Tuesday morning, sinking below $50,000. The world's largest digital currency, still up 60% this year, hit an all-time high over $58,000 on Sunday. Price swings of more than 10% are not a rarity in crypto markets. Bitcoin once climbed to almost $20,000 in 2017 before shedding 80% the following year. (CNBC)

* Janet Yellen sounds warning about ‘extremely inefficient’ bitcoin (CNBC)

Shares of Tesla, which earlier this month revealed an investment in bitcoin, fell another 4.5% in Tuesday's premarket. The stock sank more than 8.5% on Monday in its biggest drop since late September. To be sure, other tech stocks also suffered heavy losses Monday. (CNBC)

* Tesla’s share price is now directly tied to the value of bitcoin, analyst warns (CNBC)
* Today's biggest analyst calls of the day: Spotify, Starbucks, MGM, Kroger (CNBC Pro)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Dow stock Home Depot dropped 2% in premarket trading on worries that Covid pandemic sales gains won't last. A stock drop of that magnitude would put a major dent in modest year-to-date gains. Home Depot's fourth-quarter earnings and revenue surged past expectations as consumers poured more money into home improvement due to the pandemic and strength of the real estate market. (CNBC)

Shares of Macy's rose more than 1% in the premarket after the retailer reported its first quarterly profit in a year. Revenue in the fourth quarter also beat estimates as the company's efforts to cut inventories during the holiday quarter and rely less on deep discounting paid off. (CNBC)

Electric vehicle maker Lucid Motors plans to go public at an $11.75 billion combined equity valuation through a reverse merger with a blank-check company. The deal between California-based Lucid and Churchill Capital Corp IV is the largest in a series of such tie-ups involving EV companies and special purpose acquisition companies. Shares of CCIV fell more than 30% in the premarket. (CNBC)

Facebook (FB) has reached an agreement with the Australian government and will restore news pages in the country days after restricting them. The decision follows negotiations between the tech giant and the Australian government, which is set to pass a new media law that will require digital platforms to pay for news. (CNBC)

The $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus package, modeled after President Joe Biden's proposal, is now set for a full House vote later this week. Monday's passage in committee was one of the final steps in the House's reconciliation process, which will allow Democrats to muscle the bill through without GOP support. (CNBC)

* U.S. surpasses 500,000 Covid deaths after yearlong battle with pandemic (CNBC)
* Biden mourns U.S. Covid victims, balancing nation's grief and hope (AP)

Senators are set to hear from former Capitol security officials for the first time Tuesday, at two committee hearings, concerning the law enforcement failures on Jan. 6, the day a mob of Donald Trump supporters laid siege to the U.S. Capitol complex and interrupted the presidential electoral count. (AP)

The Supreme Court has rejected a last-ditch bid by Trump to keep his financial records, including years of his tax returns, out of the hands of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. The ruling further imperils the ex-president, who is facing investigations in New York and elsewhere. (CNBC)

* New York attorney general says Trump Supreme Court ruling won’t affect her tax probe (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Palo Alto Networks (PANW): Palo Alto Networks reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.55 per share, 12 cents above estimates, with the cybersecurity company's revenue also beating forecasts. Palo Alto issued a mostly weaker-than-expected current quarter earnings outlook, but did note the opportunities provided by the massive SolarWinds hack.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG): IHG reported a $153 million operating loss for 2020, hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns. However, the company said its Holiday Inn Express brand outperformed in key markets and that global travel is beginning to recover.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): J&J is setting aside $3.9 billion in connection with talc-related litigation, according to an SEC filing. In November, the company said it would set aside $2.1 billion for talc cases, as it faces thousands of lawsuits claiming its talc products caused cancer.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY): Occidental lost an adjusted 78 cents per share for its latest quarter, wider than the 59-cent loss that analysts were anticipating. Revenue missed forecasts as well. The miss came despite a rebound in oil and gas prices.

Shopify (SHOP): Shopify priced a 1.18 million share offering at $1,315 per share, with the e-commerce platform provider expecting to raise about $1.55 billion from the sale. Shopify plans to use the proceeds to strengthen its balance sheet. Shares fell 5.5% in premarket action.

Carnival (CCL): The cruise line operator's shares fell 3.4% premarket after it priced an offering of about 40.45 million common shares at $25.10 per share, with the cruise line operator seeking to raise about $1 billion to be used for general corporate purposes. The cruise industry has been shut down during the pandemic.

The RealReal (REAL): The RealReal lost an adjusted 49 cents per share for its latest quarter and posted revenue that also fell short of analyst forecasts. The secondhand luxury goods seller's said 2020 was a challenging year, with the pandemic "temporarily disrupting" its path to profitability.

AMC Entertainment (AMC): The movie theater operator's shares jumped 3.4% premarket following news that New York City movie theaters will reopen with limited capacity on March 5.

Wells Fargo (WFC): The bank announced a deal to sell its Wells Fargo Asset Management unit to private equity firms GTCR and Reverence Capital for $2.1 billion. Wells Fargo will retain a 9.9% stake in the business.

Dollar General (DG): Dollar General is taking steps to find a potential successor to CEO Todd Vasos, according to Reuters. The sources said Vasos had not communicated any intention to leave the discount retailer when his contract expires in June.

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