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What to watch today: Dow to rise as Wall Street prepares to close out a rough month

CNBC logo CNBC 9/30/2021 Matthew J. Belvedere

BY THE NUMBERS

Dow futures rose about 100 points, or roughly 0.3%, on Thursday, the final day of September and the third quarter. S&P and Nasdaq futures saw similar percentage gains as rising bond yields took a pause, one day after jumping rates hit tech stocks again. The Nasdaq fell Wednesday for its fourth straight session. However, the S&P 500 was able to break a two-day losing streak, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rebounded from Tuesday's sell-off. All three stock benchmarks were lower for the month. (CNBC)

For the third quarter, as of Wednesday's close, the S&P 500 was actually up more than 1.4% on pace for its sixth positive quarter in a row, the best run since a nine-quarter streak that ended in the final three months of 2017.

For the Dow and Nasdaq, Thursday's trading could determine whether they end Q3 in positive or negative territory.

Looking ahead, October has had sharp sell-offs, but it's typically the start of a better seasonal performance for stocks into the end of the year. All three benchmarks have amassed solid gains in 2021.

* Cramer says the stock market is ‘full of absurdity’ right now. Here’s why (CNBC) 

* Chamath Palihapitiya is very worried about inflation and hedging in 3 ways (CNBC)

* Onetime Tesla bull Palihapitiya says he sold his position (CNBC)

The 10-year Treasury yield dipped Thursday but remained near highs back to June at around 1.52%. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell returns to Capitol Hill, this time to testify before the House Financial Services Committee. On Tuesday, he told the Senate Banking Committee that inflation pressures could last longer than expected. (CNBC)

* Fed Chair Powell calls inflation 'frustrating' Wednesday, sees it running into next year (CNBC)

The Labor Department reported Thursday morning that initial jobless claims increased to 362,000 for the week ending Sept. 25. Economists had been expecting a modest decline. The Commerce Department's third look at second-quarter gross domestic product was revised higher to annual growth rate 6.7%. That was slightly higher than estimates. (CNBC)

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) shares tanked more than 25% in premarket trading Thursday as the company said it saw a steep drop-off in traffic in August, dealing a blow to its fiscal second-quarter results. The big-box retailer is also dealing with industry-wide supply chain complications, which CEO Mark Tritton said have been "pervasive." (CNBC)

Virgin Galactic (SPCE) soared 7.5% in the premarket after the FAA concluded a probe of a July 11th flight mishap and allowed the company to resume launches. The investigation determined that the July flight had deviated from its assigned path and that Virgin had not communicated the deviation to the FAA as required. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

The Senate has reached a deal to avoid a government shutdown, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said late Wednesday. The legislation would fund the government into early December and provide money for hurricane relief and Afghan refugee resettlement. But it won't include a debt-ceiling suspension. Congress has to pass a funding bill before midnight to avoid a shutdown. (CNBC)

Lawmakers will now have to separately raise the U.S. debt ceiling before Oct. 18 to prevent a first-ever government default. The House on Wednesday passed a bill that's basically dead on arrival in the Senate because Republicans don't want anything to do with raising the debt ceiling. (CNBC)

The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill faces an uncertain future. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Wednesday she wants it to pass Thursday, but she left room to delay the vote. The package, which passed the Senate last month, is running into opposition from progressive Democrats, who want action first on their party's massive $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill to bolster social safety nets. (NBC News)

Facebook's (FB) head of global safety has been summoned to testify at Thursday's Senate Commerce Committee hearing into Instagram's affects on young users. Political adversaries in Congress are united in their outrage against Facebook for privately compiling information that its Instagram photo-sharing service appears to grievously harm some teens, especially girls, while publicly downplaying the popular platform's negative effects. (AP)

Facebook, in a blog post Wednesday, said it "provided Congress with the two full research decks that were the primary focus of the Wall Street Journal's mischaracterization of internal Instagram research into teenagers and well-being." Mounting public pressure over the revelations, reported by The Wall Street Journal, has prompted Facebook to put on hold its work on a kids' version of Instagram.

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol issued subpoenas Wednesday to 11 individuals connected to former President Donald Trump and the pro-Trump group involved in organizing rallies leading up to the insurrection. The nine-member committee issued subpoenas to four top Trump loyalists last week. (CNBC)

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of illegal campaign financing over his failed 2012 re-election bid by a Paris court Thursday. It was the second guilty verdict this year for Sarkozy, who led France from 2007 to 2012 and retains influence among conservatives despite falling from grace over his legal woes. (Reuters)

As the media started comparing Elizabeth Holmes to Steve Jobs, the former Theranos CEO wrote a note to herself that contained three telling words. "Becoming steve jobs." That's what Holmes, on trial on fraud charges, wrote on April 2, 2015, according to documents obtained by CNBC.

Amazon (AMZN) settled with two former employees the National Labor Relations Board claimed were illegally fired for publicly speaking out about the company's climate record and labor policies. As part of the settlement, the company is required to pay their back wages. (CNBC) 

Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google is redesigning its dominant search engine, and users may find that future results keep them on Google's own properties for even longer. At its second annual search event, called Search On, Google showed off its latest batch of advancements to search results. The company touted its artificial intelligence and the ability to answer more specific and complicated queries. (CNBC)

General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra has been appointed the next chair of the Business Roundtable, a trade group representing U.S. business interests in Washington, D.C. She will be the first woman to lead the BRT. She succeeds Walmart (WMT) CEO Doug McMillon, who will remain on the board when he completes his two-year term on Dec. 31. (WSJ)

AstraZeneca's (AZN) Covid vaccine demonstrated 74% efficacy at preventing symptomatic disease, a figure that increased to 83.5% in people 65 and older, according to long-awaited results of the company's U.S. clinical trial. Overall efficacy of 74% was lower than the interim 76% figure reported by the British drugmaker in March. (Reuters)

* 'Covid will become manageable': BioNTech co-founder says virus will be around for years (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Auto retailer CarMax (KMX) missed estimates by 18 cents with quarterly earnings of $1.72 per share, although revenue topped analyst projections. Comparable pre-owned car sales rose 6.2%, less than the 7.3% estimate of analysts surveyed by StreetAccount. CarMax tumbled 7.1% in the premarket.

Spice maker McCormick (MKC) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 80 cents per share, beating estimates by 8 cents, with revenue slightly above Wall Street forecasts. However, it also cut its full-year earnings forecast as it deals with higher inflation and logistics challenges.

fuboTV's (FUBO) gaming unit is partnering with payments platform Paysafe (PSFE) for its interactive wagering operation. Paysafe rose 1.1% in the premarket while fuboTV, a sports-centered video streaming service, added 1.4%.

Merck (MRK)struck a deal to buy drugmaker Acceleron Pharma (XLRN) for $180 per share in cash or $11.5 billion. It had been reported earlier this month that Acceleron was close to a sale agreement, and reports earlier this week had named Merck as the suitor.

Diageo (DEO) said its new fiscal year is off to a strong start, with the world's largest spirits producer pointing to a strong North American business and a faster-than-expected recovery in European markets. Diageo rose 2.3% in premarket trading.

Tobacco producers Altria (MO) and Philip Morris International (PM) were ordered by the International Trade Commission to halt the import and sales of their IQOS heated tobacco device. The order stems from a patent case brought by rival tobacco producer R.J. Reynolds, with the case now moving to an administrative review.

Lordstown Motors (RIDE) is near a deal to sell its Ohio car factory to Taiwan's Foxconn Technology for an undisclosed amount, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to Bloomberg. The electric truck maker had bought the plant from General Motors (GM) less than two years ago. Lordstown rallied 5.6% in the premarket.

Herman Miller (MLHR) fell a penny shy of Wall Street forecasts with adjusted quarterly earnings of 49 cents per share, but the office furniture maker's sales came in well above estimates and it also gave an upbeat current-quarter earnings forecast. Herman Miller added 2.2% in premarket action.

Perrigo (PRGO) shares surged 14.3% in premarket trading after the drugmaker resolved a tax dispute with Ireland for about $399 million, with no interest or penalties applied.

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