What to watch today: 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, which like the S&P 500, closed at a record Friday, started the holiday-shortened week by snapping a four-session winning streak. (CNBC)

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. (CNBC)

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. (CNBC)

* Gold ticks higher as easing bond yields boost appeal (CNBC)

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.

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, falling to the lowest level since the beginning of 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic started to take a toll on the economy. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Haitian President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in an attack on his private residence early Wednesday, according to a statement from the country's interim prime minister, who called the killing a "hateful, inhumane and barbaric act." First Lady Martine Moise was shot in the overnight attack and hospitalized. (AP)

The search for victims of the collapse of a Miami-area high-rise condominium reached its 14th day on Wednesday, with the death toll at three dozen, more than 100 people still unaccounted for. Searchers have found no new signs of survivors. (AP)

* Tropical Storm Elsa weakens, spares Florida of major damage (AP)

Shares of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi (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% Tuesday, after China announced a cybersecurity review of the company. Didi went public on the NYSE exactly one week ago. (CNBC)

* China’s war on bitcoin just hit a new level with its latest crypto crackdown (CNBC)

Satellite imagery and data specialist Planet Labs is preparing to go public, merging with a SPAC in a deal with backing from Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google, BlackRock (BLK) and Salesforce (CRM) co-founder Marc Benioff. Planet Labs is merging with special purpose acquisition company dMY Technology Group IV (DMYQ). (CNBC)

* Nextdoor to go public in $4.3 billion SPAC merger as CEO looks toward expansion (CNBC)

President Emmanuel Macron once said vaccination against Covid would not be compulsory, but French lawmakers are now preparing a new law that would effectively force health care workers to get their shot. So far, only 57% of care workers in nursing homes and 64% of hospital staff have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, according to data shared by the French Hospital Federation. (CNBC)

* Biden calls for door-to-door vaccine push; experts say more is needed (NY Times)

President Joe Biden is turning his focus to pitching his proposed investments in families and education. He's set to use a visit Wednesday to a community college in Illinois to highlight how his spending on "human infrastructure" would boost the economy. (AP)

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has won the Democratic primary for mayor of New York City after appealing to the political center and promising to strike the right balance between fighting crime and ending racial injustice in policing. A former police captain, Adams would be the city's second Black mayor if elected. (AP)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Devon Energy (DVN), Occidental Petroleum (OXY): Energy stocks were set to gain as oil prices rose. Devon Energy advanced 3% in premarket trading, while Occidental Petroleum climbed 1.7%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.23, or 1.7%, to trade at $74.60 per barrel, having declined by more than 2% in the previous session on uncertainty about OPEC+ supply policy.

JPMorgan (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS): Bank stocks were set to extend their sell-off as long-term bond yields fell further. The 10-year Treasury yield dipped below 1.35%, its lowest level since February. The 30-year Treasury yield fell a similar magnitude to 1.94% on Wednesday. 

Sunnova Energy (NOVA): Shares of the solar company climbed more than 3% after Raymond James upgraded the stock to strong buy from outperform, saying the stock's recent underperformance was caused by misguided concerns. The stock is down about 13% this year.

Whirlpool (WHR): The home appliance stock edged up about 1% after JPMorgan named the company a top pick, saying that the rest of Wall Street was too negative about the company. JPMorgan's price target of $278 represents a 28% upside for Whirlpool stock.

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