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Morgan Stanley, Ford, Fed and New York Mayoral Race: 5 Things You Must Know

Stock futures point modestly higher; Fed Chairman Jerome Powell says an inflation spike likely is temporary; Morgan Stanley to bar unvaccinated staff from New York offices.

Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, June 23:

1. -- Stock Futures Rise as Powell Says Fed Not Close to Raising Rates

Stock futures pointed to a slightly higher open for Wall Street on Wednesday as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said a spike in inflation likely was temporary, easing worries that the central bank could pull back on economic support.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 23 points, S&P 500 futures rose 2 points and Nasdaq futures were up 4 points.

Stocks closed higher Tuesday after Powell said prices have risen more than the Fed expected, but added he has a “a level of confidence” that prices eventually will come down as supply chain bottlenecks are resolved. The Nasdaq set a closing record high on Tuesday of 14,253.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose early Wednesday to 1.475%.

“A pretty substantial part, or perhaps all of the overshoot in inflation comes from categories that are directly affected by the reopening of the economy such as used cars and trucks,” Powell said Tuesday in response to a question before the House
Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

“Those are things that we would look to to stop going up and ultimately to start to decline,” he added.

Powell’s remarks followed a meeting of the Fed’s policymaking committee last week, when officials signaled they could boost interest rates and begin tapering asset purchases sooner than expected. 

The Fed's hawkish tilt sent stock markets reeling last week but Wall Street has steadied after Powell's assurances the central bank wasn't close to raising rates.

Bitcoin prices rebounded Wednesday, rising more than 8% to $34,075.

2. -- Wednesday's Calendar: New Home Sales, KB Home Earnings

The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes the PMI Composite Flash for June at 9:45 a.m. ET, New Home Sales for May at 10 a.m. and Oil Inventories for the week ended June 18 at 10:30 a.m.

Earnings reports are expected Wednesday from IHS Markit  (INFO) - Get Report, KB Home  (KBH) - Get Report and Winnebago  (WGO) - Get Report

3. -- Jim Cramer - Buy Stocks You Know

The easiest way to make money, TheStreet's Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" viewers Tuesday, was to buy stocks you know, stocks you don't have to think about, or worse, stay up at night worrying about. 

Cramer's Mad Money Recap: Apple, Ford, Costco

TheStreet Recommends

Cramer offered up a list of five "buy what you know" stocks.

First was Ford  (F) - Get Report, the automaker with a great lineup of new vehicles, according to Cramer. As the semiconductor shortage subsides and Ford's Lightning electric F-150 pickup starts rolling off the lot, it'll be hard not to make money with Ford, Cramer said.

Next were retailers Costco  (COST) - Get Report and American Eagle Outfitters  (AEO) - Get Report. Rounding out the list were two perennial favorites, Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report and Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Report.

Cramer called each of the companies truly special and more than worthy of your investment dollars.

Ford, Costco, American Eagle Outfitters, Apple and Amazon are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

4. -- Morgan Stanley to Bar Unvaccinated From New York Offices

Employees and clients of Morgan Stanley  (MS) - Get Report who haven't received their COVID-19 vaccine will be barred from entering the bank’s New York offices, according to an internal memo seen by the Financial Times

“Starting July 12 all employees, contingent workforce, clients and visitors will be required to attest to being fully vaccinated to access Morgan Stanley buildings in New York City and Westchester,” said the memo, signed by Chief Human Resources Officer Mandell Crawley. 

After that date, those who don't attest to being fully inoculated would lose building access, Crawley wrote, adding that the “overwhelming majority of staff” already reported receiving their vaccinations. 

The policy, one of the most restrictive issued so far by a U.S. bank, was designed to speed up the process of getting offices back to normal, Morgan Stanley said. 

CEO James Gorman addressed the issue at a conference last week.

“If you can go to a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office and we want you in the office,” he said.

5. -- Eric Adams Takes Lead in New York Mayoral Race

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former New York police captain, appeared to take the lead in New York City’s Democratic mayoral primary.

It was the first citywide election to use ranked choice voting and it could be weeks before a clear winner in known.

With nearly all the precincts reporting early Wednesday,
Adams had about 31% of the vote, followed by civil rights lawyer
Maya Wiley with 22% and former city Sanitation Commissioner
Kathryn Garcia with about 20%, Bloomberg reported.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang conceded defeat about two hours after polls closed and dropped out.