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Musk, Tesla, Taxes, Inflation, Buffett and Markets -5 Things You Must Know

Stocks mixed after record-setting week; Wall Street focused on inflation data; Musk mulls Tesla stake sale; Buffett grows cash piles to nearly $150 billion and the U.S. welcomes international air travelers following 20 months of pandemic restrictions.

Here are five things you must know for Monday, November 8:

1. -- Stocks Futures Mixed With Inflation Data In Focus

U.S. equity futures traded mixed heading into the start of an important week for economic data releases, with tech indices pulled modestly lower by a slump in shares of Tesla.  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report.

Stocks ended last week on a high note, with the S&P 500 extending its advance to a fifth consecutive week thanks in part to a stronger-than-expected reading for October jobs gains, dovish signaling from the Federal Reserve on interest rates and a solid corporate earnings season.

In fact, with 445 S&P 500 companies reporting so far, collective S&P 500 profits are expected to rise 41.5% from last year to $451.5 billion, with more than more than 80% of updates topping Street forecasts. 

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average are indicating a 95 point opening gain while those linked to the S&P 500 are priced for a 3 point move to the upside. 

Futures tied to the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite are indicating a 10 point dip as Tesla shares slide following indications that founder and CEO Elon Musk may sell as much as 10% of his stake in the clean-energy carmaker.

2. -- Wall Street Week Ahead

Inflation data Wednesday highlights an important -- if not active -- week for economic data releases as investors look to the impact of stronger-than-expected October wage gains on consumer price pressures. 

Wednesday's CPI reading for October following a 4.9% gain in average hourly earnings in Friday's non-farm payroll report that could stoke concerns that the Federal Reserve's 'transitory' inflation narrative is behind the curve, although recent moves in the bond market suggest greater concerns for growth in the coming months as benchmark 10-year note yields ease to 1.475%.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell with have two chances to at a least allude to the markets' concerns on both issues this week, with scheduled appearances today at 10:30 am today and 9:00 am tomorrow, both of which are likely to be made by pre-recorded video.

Another Wednesday data point worth noting will be China's October PPI reading for October, which, alongside a record monthly trade surplus of $84.54 billion and a 27.1% surge in exports, could also add upward prices pressures across the global supply chain in the months ahead. 

It will be a light week for corporate earnings, as well, with only 18 S&P 500 companies reporting, including Walt Disney  (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report, PayPal  (PYPL) - Get PayPal Holdings Inc Report, Coty  (COTY) - Get Coty Inc. Class A Report, Wynn Resorts  (WYNN) - Get Wynn Resorts, Limited (WYNN) Report and Nordstrom  (JWN) - Get Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN) Report.

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3. -- Tesla Slumps As Musk Mulls Stake Sale 

Tesla shares slumped lower in pre-market trading after founder and CEO Elon Musk indicated he could sell around 10% of his stake in the clean-energy carmaker.

Musk, who has come under fire from some U.S. lawmakers over his ability to avoid capital gains taxes despite the billions of value added to Tesla shares over the past five years, conducted a Twitter poll over the weekend that asked if he should sell some of his 170.5 million shares in order to create a tax liability.

Around 57.5% of the more than 3.5 million respondents in the poll vote "yes". 

Tesla shares were marked 4.8% lower in pre-market trading Monday to indicate an opening bell price of $1,163.00 each.

4. -- Buffett Cash Pile Grows Despite Q3 Buybacks

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway  (BRK.B) - Get Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class B (BRK.B) Report bought back more than $7.5 billion of its own stock last quarter, according to its weekend earnings report, while offloading more than $2 billion in investments to boost the billionaire investor's cash pile.

Berkshire Hathaway said its operating profits rose 18% from last year for the three months ending in September to $6.47 billion, a figure that fell just shy of analysts' forecasts. However, even as stock buybacks hit $7.6 billion -- the third highest on record -- Berkshire's cash piled climbed to an all-time high of $149.2 billion, suggesting the 'Sage of Omaha' is having a difficult time finding acquisition targets or new investments.   

Berkshire Hathaway class B shares were marked 0.1% higher in pre-market trading Monday to indicate an opening bell price of $288.15 each. 

5. -- U.S. Welcomes Air Travelers After 20 Months of COVID Restrictions 

Visitors from more than thirty countries -- including China and most of Europe -- were permitted to enter the United States today for the first time since March of last year as the government lifted pandemic-era restrictions on international travel.

Under the new State Department guidelines, travelers showing proof of vaccination against COIVD 19, as well as a recent negative test, can fly to the United States.

Carriers British Airways and Virgin Atlantic had simultaneous take-offs from parallel runways at London's Heathrow Airport Monday as planes headed to New York for the first time in nearly 20 months.

U.S. airline stocks were marked modestly higher in pre-market trading, with United Airlines  (UAL) - Get United Airlines Holdings, Inc. Report rising 1% to $53.20 each and American Airlines  (AAL) - Get American Airlines Group, Inc. Report edging 0.8% higher at $21.99 each.