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What to Watch Today: Stock Futures Higher After Turning in a Strong First Half of 2021

Brendan McDermid | Reuters


U.S. stock futures were steady Thursday on the first day of the third quarter on Wall Street. Investors hope the second half of 2021 remains as strong as the first half. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday rose 210 points, moving within 0.8% of its latest record close in early May. The S&P 500 on Wednesday ticked higher for its fifth-straight record close. The Nasdaq fell slightly from a record close in the prior session. (CNBC)

* Dow stock Walgreens pops on strong earnings, outlook, turnaround plan (CNBC)

Ahead of the new trading day, the S&P 500 was up 14.4% year to date. The Dow and Nasdaq were each up more than 12% so far in 2021. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq turned in gains for June. The Dow fell modestly. All three benchmarks were up solidly in the second quarter. (CNBC)

U.S. oil prices rose around 2.5% Thursday to above $75 per barrel, the highest level since 2018. As of Wednesday's settle, West Texas Intermediate crude was up strongly in June and in the second quarter. WTI was up more than 51% for the year. (CNBC)

Bitcoin fell roughly 3% on Thursday but remained above $33,000. The world's biggest cryptocurrency by market value, which saw an all-time high in April near $65,000 and recent lows below $29,000 last week, closed out the first half of the year down about 47% from its record. (CNBC)

The 10-year Treasury yield, which began 2021 below 1% and spiked to 14-month highs above 1.77% in March, ticked higher Thursday to around 1.47%. Investors got another read on the U.S. labor market before the bell. After two straight weeks above 400,000, the government reported a lower-than-expected 364,000 new filings for unemployment benefits for last week, a new pandemic-era low. The government releases its June employment report Friday. (CNBC)


Krispy Kreme returns to the public markets Thursday, the morning after pricing 29.4 million initial public offering shares below the expected range at $17 per share. The IPO raised nearly $500 million, valuing the doughnut chain at $2.7 billion. Krispy Kreme, founded in 1937, was taken private by Keurig owner JAB Holding in a $1.35 billion deal in 2016. It first went public in 2000. (Reuters)

In what was the biggest U.S. listing by a Chinese company since 2014, ride-hailing giant Didi started trading Wednesday morning and ended the day with a valuation of over $68 billion. A slew of other firms, including Clear and LegalZoom, popped on the debuts Wednesday. (CNBC)

German drugmaker CureVac (CVAC) said a final study analysis showed its Covid vaccine was 48% effective, little changed from the initial 47% assessment two weeks ago. Shares plunged 12.6% in the premarket. "We have a contract with the European Commission to supply 225 million doses of the drug. So I think, with that in mind, we need to plow forward," CFO Pierre Kemula told CNBC today.

* Israel scrambles to curb jump in Covid infections (AP)

The Trump Organization's chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, surrendered to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office on Thursday after a grand jury indicted him and former President Donald Trump's company in a criminal case over its business dealings. NBC News previously reported the charges center around allegations of Weisselberg and other Trump Organization executives receiving benefits without reporting them properly on their tax returns.

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke Thursday about China's firm resolve to stand up to foreign pressure while laying out national aspirations at the celebration of the 100th anniversary of China's ruling Communist Party. China will not accept "sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us," Xi said. (CNBC)

As the search for survivors of a Florida condo collapse enters its second week, rescue crews and relatives of those still missing are scheduled to meet with President Joe Biden on Thursday, in a visit many are hoping will provide some measure of comfort to a devastated community. (AP)

* Historic Northwest heat wave may have killed hundreds (AP)

Pacific Gas & Electric (PCG) is asking California regulators for a $3.8 billion rate hike, in order to pay for improvements that would strengthen prevention against deadly fires. Investigators have blamed the utility's equipment for starting some of the most destructive fires in the state in recent years. (Reuters)


Shares of Nio (NIO) and XPeng (XPEV) both rose in premarket trading after the Chinese EV automakers reported their latest delivery numbers. Nio delivered 8,083 electric vehicles in June, up 116% from a year earlier, while XPeng delivered 6,565 vehicles, a more than seven-fold increase. Nio jumped 3.2% in the premarket, while XPeng was up 4.7%.

Micron Technology (MU) beat estimates by 16 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of $1.88 per share. The chip maker's revenue topping Wall Street forecasts as well. Micron also gave upbeat current-quarter guidance, with a shortage of chips and strong demand keeping prices high. Separately, Micron sold a Utah semiconductor factory to Texas Instruments (TXN) for $900 million in cash. Micron fell 2.3% in the premarket.

Boeing (BA) named Brian West as chief financial officer, replacing the retiring Greg Smith. West is a former General Electric (GE) executive who was most recently CFO at financial information provider Refinitiv.

Activist investor Elliott confirmed that it had taken a significant stake in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and urged the drugmaker to consider the sale of its consumer health-care business.

McCormick (MKC) beat estimates by 7 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of 69 cents per share. The condiment and spice maker also reported better-than-expected revenue and raised its full-year forecast, helped by elevated at-home demand and a rebound in the company's commercial business. McCormick gained 1.3% in premarket trading.

Atotech (ATC), a specialty chemicals company, agreed to be acquired by industrial solutions company MKS Instruments (MKSI) in a $5.1 billion cash-and-stock deal. Atotech was initially higher on the news but then fell 1% in premarket action.

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