Here are five things you must know for Monday, October 25:
1. -- Stocks Futures Mixed Ahead of Tech-Lead Earnings Slate
U.S. equity futures traded mixed Monday, following on from a record closing high for the Dow on Friday, as investors enter the busiest week of the third quarter earnings season with a warning on interest rates and further signals of inflationary pressures in the months ahead.
Around 165 S&P companies will report September quarter profits this week, including a host of big tech companies that comprise more than a fifth of the benchmark's overall weight: Facebook (FB) - Get Free Report, Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Free Report, Apple (AAPL) - Get Free Report, Amazon (AMZN) - Get Free Report and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Free Report.
With 117 companies reporting so far, collective S&P 500 profits are set to rise 34.8% from last year to $430.3 billion.
The busy slate will likely occupy the markets' attention even as Federal Reserve policymakers push for changes to the central bank's approach to inflation amid faster -- and longer -- than forecast inflation rates spurred by supply shortages, a surge in energy prices and ongoing tightness in the labor market.
On Wall Street, futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average are indicating an 3 point opening bell dip, while those linked to the S&P 500 are priced for 3 point gain.
Futures tied to the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite are indicating a 35 point move to the upside as benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields hold at 1.657%.
2. -- China Warns on Delta Infection Surge
After warning of a winter surge in coronavirus infections in the coming weeks, China took another series of steps to limit travel and business activity in Ejin, near Inner Mongolia, a hotspot of infections in the world's second-largest economy.
China's National Health Commission warned over the weekend that Delta-variant infections, which has already spread to 11 different provinces around the country, will worsen in the coming weeks, and called on the government to adopt emergency measures to slow it as the nation prepares for the 2022 Winter Olympics in February.
The NHC also noted that around 75.6% of China's population, or just over 1.06 billion people, had received at least one dose of the five vaccines being used by authorities to slow the spread of the disease.
3. -- PayPal Says Not Interested in Pinterest
Pinterest (PINS) - Get Free Report shares fell sharply lower in pre-market trading after PayPal (PYPL) - Get Free Report, which was linked to a $45 billion takeover of the social media group last week, said it is not pursing the group.
"In response to market rumors regarding a potential acquisition of Pinterest by PayPal, PayPal stated that it is not pursuing an acquisition of Pinterest at this time," the payments group said in a brief statement posted Sunday on its website. Bloomberg News reported last week that PayPal was close to making an approach for the group at $70 per share.
Pinterest shares were marked 11.3% lower in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $51.50 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date decline to around 21.9%. PayPal shares jumped 6.5% to $256.00 each.
4. -- Tesla Pulls FSD Beat Software Following 'Issues'
Tesla said the 10.3 version of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software had triggered some false warnings for drivers over the weekend, with some users reporting that it applied the brakes on their vehicles for no reason.
"Seeing some issues with 10.3, so rolling back to 10.2 temporarily," founder and CEO Elon Musk said through his verified Twitter account on Sunday. "Please note, this is to be expected with beta software. It is impossible to test all hardware configs in all conditions with internal QA, hence public beta."
Tesla shares were marked 2.42% higher in pre-market trading Monday to indicate an opening bell price of $931.70 each, an all-time high that would extend the stock's year-to-date gain to around 25%.
5. -- Tom Brady First to Pass for 600 Touchdowns
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady added yet another item to his growing list of NFL records over the weekend by becoming the first player to ever throw for 600 touchdowns over the course of a career.
Brady, 44, reached the historic milestone with just 10 second remaining in the first quarter of a 39-3 romp over the Chicago Bears when he threw a 9-yeard touchdown pass to his favored receiver, Mike Evans - who promptly tossed the ball to a fan in the end zone of Raymond James Stadium.
A Bucs official quickly recovered the ball -- handing the lucky fan a replacement -- and Brady went on to throw three more TD passes to lead his team to a 6-1 start, the best in franchise history.
"I just think of all the guys that are sharing it with me," Brady said. "That's the reality. There's nothing about this sport that you do by yourself. It's the ultimate team sport. It challenges you physically, mentally, emotionally, every week, every day at practice -- this is not a sport you can just mail it in."