Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, November 2:
1. -- Stocks Futures Lower As Fed Meeting Begins
U.S. equity futures edged lower Tuesday, peeling away from another set of all-time highs last night, as investors look to the start of today's Federal Reserve policy meeting and another batch of third quarter earnings reports.
The Fed is widely expected to detail how it will begin slowing the pace of it $120 billion in monthly bond purchases - the first of several steps required for a true rate hike, which some analysts now suggest could come as early as July of next year.
Supply chain disruptions could still derail the now-uneven global recovery, however, and while Fed officials are mindful of the searing pace of inflation -- its preferred gauge held near the highest levels since the early 90s last month -- they are also worried that tightening policy too early could tip economy into a sharper slowdown.
In the meantime, corporate earnings continue to pour in, with updates expected from Pfizer (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report, Estee Lauder (EL) - Get Estee Lauder Companies Inc. Class A Report, DuPont (DD) - Get DuPont de Nemours, Inc. Report and Under Armour (UAA) - Get Under Armour, Inc. Class A Report prior to the start of trading.
Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average are indicating a modest 10 point opening decline while those linked to the S&P 500 are priced for a 6 point move to the downside. Futures tied to the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite are indicating a 35 point dip from last night's close.
2. -- Apple Directing Scarce Chips to iPhone, Cutting iPad Production - Report
Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report shares edged lower in pre-market trading following a report from the Nikkei business newspaper that suggested the tech giant is cutting back on iPad production in order to direct scarce semiconductor supplies to its flagship iPhone.
The paper said iPad production runs are about half of their normal pace, owing to Apple's decision to prioritize chips for its new iPhone 13, which it expects to generate stronger demand over the holiday season.
Apple noted last week that supply chain woes ripped $6 billion from its September quarter sales and expected the disruption to impact its current quarter revenues.
Apple shares were marked 0.05% lower in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $148.90 each.
3. -- DuPont Eyes $5 Billion Rogers Takeover Ahead of Q3 Earnings - Report
DuPont shares bumped higher in pre-market trading amid reports that the industrial group is set to pay around $5 billion for engineering materials maker Rogers Corp (ROG) - Get Rogers Corporation Report.
Bloomberg News said DuPont is prepared to pay $275 per share for Chandler, Arizona-based Rogers, a near one-third premium to last night's close that would value the group at $3.9 billion.
Reports of the deal, which would expand DuPont's reach into the electric vehicle market -- a Rogers specialty -- come just ahead the group's third quarter earnings later today, where analysts are expecting a bottom line of $1.12 per share on sales of $4.14 billion.
DuPont shares were marked 0.41% higher at $71.52 each, while Rogers shares were little-changed at $208.43 each.
4. -- Tesla Deal With Hertz Not Yet Signed, Says Musk
Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report shares slumped lower in pre-market trading after founder and CEO Elon Musk cast doubt on the clean-energy carmaker's $4.4 billion deal with Hertz Global (HTZ) - Get Hertz Global Holdings Inc Report.
In a series of replies from his verified Twitter feed last night to a message noting Tesla's recent market gains -- which pushed the stock to a fresh all-time high on Monday -- Musk said that "no contract" has been signed with Hertz, and that the company would "only sell cars to Hertz for the same margin as to consumers.'
He added that the deal, which reportedly would see Hertz buying 100,000 Tesla cars, mostly Model 3s, "has zero effect on our economics".
Tesla shares were marked 5.2% lower in pre-market trading Tuesday to indicate an opening bell price of $1,146.00 each.
5. -- Musk Tweets Cryptic Chinese Poem as Shiba Inu Overtakes Dogecoin in Value
Not content with throwing cold water onto a potential $4.4 billion deal for the trillion dollar carmaker he founded a decade ago, billionaire Elon Musk caused a stir on social media last night with the posting of an ancient Chinese poem.
Musk posted passages of the allegorical 'Quatrain of Seven Steps' poem, a traditional piece used to teach school children about the importance of working together, on both this verified Twitter and Weibo accounts late Monday. Some readers assumed the poem's textual protagonists -- two rival brothers from a family of royals -- represented the Shiba Inu and Dogecoin digital currencies that have soared in value over recent weeks.
Shiba Inu, in fact, barged its way into the top ten list of global cryptocurrencies this week, following an October surge of around 900%, to overtake Dogecoin -- which has been heavily supported by Musk -- in terms of total market value.
"We are born of the selfsame root," a passage of the poem Musk posted read. "Why should we incinerate each other with such impatience?"