Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Stocks look steady as Wall Street tries to restart rally
- Bond yields dip ahead of afternoon release of Fed minutes
- Mortgage demand sinks to lowest level since beginning of pandemic
- Didi removed from China's WeChat, Alipay apps for new users
- Satellite imagery company Planet Labs is going public
1. Stocks look steady as Wall Street tries to restart rally
U.S. stock futures were relatively flat Wednesday, one day after the Nasdaq logged another record high close while the S&P 500 broke a seven-session winning streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average — which like the S&P 500, closed at a record Friday — started the holiday-shortened week by snapping a four-session winning streak. Concern that the best of the economic recovery from the Covid pandemic could be in the rearview mirror hurt sentiment. U.S. oil prices rose Wednesday after Tuesday's surge to six-year highs turned into the worst session since May. OPEC and its oil-producing allies threw uncertainty into the market when they indefinitely postponed talks on output policy.
2. Bond yields dip ahead of afternoon release of Fed minutes
The 10-year Treasury yield fell early Wednesday, trading around 1.34%, ahead of the afternoon release of the minutes from the June meeting of the Federal Reserve's policymaking committee. Traders will be looking for more clues into why central bankers moved up their timetable on interest rate hikes, with most of the 18 members of the panel forecasting two in 2023. In fact, seven members see the Fed possibly increasing rates as early as next year. It's going to be a busy summer for Fed watchers. Chairman Jerome Powell is set to testify next week on Capitol Hill, about two weeks before the Fed's July meeting. The Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium, sponsored by the Kansas City Fed, is set for Aug. 26-28 in Wyoming.
3. Mortgage demand sinks to lowest level since beginning of pandemic
Mortgage demand declined for the second straight week as low inventory and high home prices continued to weigh on the hot housing market. Mortgage applications decreased 1.8% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index, falling to the lowest level since the beginning of 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic started to take a toll on the economy. Both refinance and purchase demand took a hit, even as mortgage rates slipped. Home purchase applications dropped 1% for the week and 14% from a year ago. Refis fell 2% for the week and 8% from a year ago.
4. Didi removed from China's WeChat, Alipay apps for new users
Shares of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi dropped another 4% in Wednesday's premarket as the company's main app was removed from Tencent's WeChat messaging service and Ant Group's Alipay for new users. Didi plunged 19.6% to $12.49 per share Tuesday, after China announced a cybersecurity review of the company. Didi went public on the New York Stock Exchange exactly one week ago at an initial offering price of $14 per share. The crackdown on Didi continues Beijing's aggressive action against China's tech firms, from the canceling of the $34.5 billion Ant Group IPO last year to the $2.8 billion antitrust fine for Alibaba.
5. Satellite imagery company Planet Labs is going public
Satellite imagery and data specialist Planet Labs is preparing to go public, merging with a SPAC in a deal with backing from Alphabet's Google, BlackRock and Salesforce co-founder Marc Benioff. Planet Labs is merging with special purpose acquisition company dMY Technology Group IV, which trades on the NYSE under ticker DMYQ. "We're a mature business and have a massive new and unique data set of our 190 satellites, the largest Earth imaging fleet ever, and more than 10 times anyone else," Planet Labs co-founder and CEO Will Marshall told CNBC. Shares of DMYQ rose almost 2% in premarket trading.
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