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What to Watch Today: Stocks Set to Rise After Last Week's Bitcoin-Driven Swings

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BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures rose as tech names in Monday's premarket trading shook off another rough stretch for bitcoin over the weekend. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 dropped roughly 0.5% each last week. For the S&P 500, that was its first back-to-back weekly losses since February. The Nasdaq bucked the downdraft last week, breaking a four-week losing streak with a 0.3% advance. (CNBC)

In the last trading week of May, ahead of next Monday's Memorial Day holiday, the Dow was up about 1% for the month and the S&P 500 was down 0.6% for the month. The Nasdaq down 3.5% as the biggest loser in May. (CNBC)

Bitcoin bounced about 14% on Monday to around $38,000 after last week's wild ride extended into the weekend. The price of bitcoin plunged to less than $32,000 on Sunday. Last Wednesday, the world's biggest cryptocurrency saw a single-day collapse of as much as more than 30% to just above $30,000 per coin. Bitcoin hit an all-time high of nearly $65,000 in April. (CNBC)

* Robert Shiller: 'Wild West' mentality gripping housing, stocks and crypto (CNBC)

Ten years to the day since CNBC's Mark Haines died, the network is honoring him by auctioning an NFT of his historic market call at the depths of the Great Recession. Proceeds from the auction will go to Autism Speaks and to the Council for Economic Education.

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Daily new Covid cases in the U.S. have dropped to their lowest level in 11 months as the nation prepares for the long Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of the summer travel season. The seven-day average of initial infections was 25,270 as of Sunday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. (CNBC)

* India coronavirus death toll passes 300,000, third highest in world (AP)
* SoftBank's Masa Son expresses concern about Tokyo Olympics as Covid surges in Japan (Reuters)
* WSJ reports intelligence on sick staff at Wuhan Lab fuels debate on Covid Origin

New infections in the U.S. have fallen dramatically as more and more people across the country get vaccinated. According to the CDC's latest data, more than 49% of the American population have received at least one shot and over 39% are fully vaccinated.

Virgin Galactic shares jumped 17% in Monday's premarket, two days after the company's first spaceflight in more than two years moved it a step closer to completing development of its space tourism system. The stock soared 30% last week. (CNBC)

The judge who will decide the Epic Games-Apple case is expected to grill lawyers from both sides Monday as they make their final trial points. U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez said she hopes to release her ruling before Aug. 13. On Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook described the company's control over its App Store as the best way to serve and protect device users. (AP)

* Jurors in Elizabeth Holmes trial can hear about extravagant lifestyle as Theranos CEO (CNBC)

A group of Republican and Democratic senators unveiled a transportation package over the weekend. The bill would increase funding for highways, roads and bridges as Congress searches for bipartisan paths to repair the nation's infrastructure. (CNBC)

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary asserted Monday that the decision by Belarusian authorities to divert a plane flying over its territory and to arrest a dissident journalist on board constituted "state-sponsored piracy." O'Leary said he believed Belarusian KGB operatives were traveling on the scheduled flight from Athens for Vilnius, Lithuania. (CNBC)

President Joe Biden will host George Floyd's family at the White House on Tuesday, an administration official confirmed to CNBC. The visit marks one year since Floyd's death, which triggered international protests against racism and police brutality. Congress is set to miss the president's deadline to pass a police reform bill by May 25.

* Floyd killing prompts some states to limit or ban chokeholds (AP)
* George Floyd’s family holds a Minneapolis rally, march in memory (AP)

STOCKS TO WATCH

AMC Entertainment's (AMC) largest shareholder, China's Dalian Wanda Group, sold most of its stake in the movie theater operator over the past week. A Securities and Exchange Commission filing shows Dalian Wanda sold 30.4 million shares for about $427 million. AMC shares rose 1.5% in the premarket.

Martin Marietta Materials (MLM) struck a deal to buy the California and Arizona assets of Germany's HeidelbergCement for $2.3 billion in cash. The construction materials company will acquire 17 quarries and two cement plants as part of the deal, among other assets.

Palantir Technologies (PLTR), a data analytics platform company, won a $32.5 million contract to provide its software to the Air Force and Space Force. Its shares rose 1% in premarket trading.

Cabot Oil & Gas (COG) and rival oil and natural gas producer Cimarex Energy (XEC) agreed to an all-stock merger of equals valued at $7.35 billion. Cimarex shareholders will receive a little over four shares of Cabot for each share they now own. Cabot shares added 1.9% in premarket trading, while Cimarex stock was up 0.4%.

Moderna (MRNA) struck a vaccine production agreement with South Korea's Samsung Biologics, in a move it said will allow it to provide its Covid-19 vaccine to markets outside the United States beginning in the third quarter. Its shares climbed 1.6% in premarket action.

CureVac (CVAC) is working to expand production capacity for its Covid-19 vaccine in anticipation of a June European Union approval, according to a company spokeswoman quoted in a German newspaper.

The British government is concerned about a possible takeover of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), according to the Times of London newspaper, and has asked officials to monitor the situation. The concern was sparked by an investment in Glaxo by activist hedge fund Elliott Management.

WATERCOOLER

Phil Mickelson defied the odds Sunday to become the oldest major champion in golf history as he overcame a nervy back-nine to clinch a memorable two-shot victory at the 103rd PGA Championship. He tamed the difficult Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, South Carolina just over three weeks shy of his 51st birthday. (Sky Sports)

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