Coronavirus, Amazon and Albertsons - 5 Things You Must Know Friday

Stock futures waver as the U.S. sets a record for the number of new coronavirus infections; Amazon reportedly to buy self-driving startup Zoox; the IPO of Albertsons is priced below the expected range.
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Here are five things you must know for Friday, June 26:

1. -- Stock Futures Mixed as U.S. Sets Record for Virus Cases

Stock futures were mixed Friday as the United States set a record for the number of new coronavirus infections and worries grew that a resurgence of the virus could shutter portions of the economy.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53 points, futures for the S&P 500 were up 2 points and Nasdaq futures rose 14 points.

Bank stocks traded lower after the Federal Reserve told the biggest U.S. banks they will have their dividends capped and they can’t resume buybacks through at least the third quarter because of economic uncertainties caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

Shares of banks such as JPMorgan Chase  (JPM) - Get Report had helped stocks stage a late-session surge Thursday after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. approved changes to rules that would free up capital for banks and allow them to make large investments into venture capital and similar funds.

The economic calendar Friday includes Personal Income and Outlays for May at 8:30 a.m. ET and Consumer Sentiment for June at 10 a.m.

2. -- Coronavirus - The Latest

The number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus has risen to 9,612,250, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, and deaths increased to 489,556.

The U.S. has 2,422,312 cases of the coronavirus, the most in the world, according to Johns Hopkins CSSE. Deaths in the U.S. have risen to 124,415, also the most in the world.

Infections rose across the U.S. on Thursday by more than 39,800, the largest one-day increase of the pandemic and higher than the previous peak on April 24. Florida, California, Arizona and Texas account for almost half of all new cases, according to Bloomberg.

Texas halted additional phases of the state’s reopening as coronavirus cases have surged and hospitalizations have soared, 55 days after allowing businesses to reopen. 

“We reopened too early,” said Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Masks alone are not going to be adequate.”

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the number of people in the United States who have been infected with the coronavirus is actually about 10 times higher than the 2.3 million cases that have been reported, The New York Times reported.

“We probably recognized about 10% of the outbreak,” Dr. Redfield said in a call with reporters, adding that between 5% and 8% of Americans have been infected to date.

3. -- Amazon to Buy Self-Driving Startup Zoox

Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Report reportedly has reached an agreement to acquire Zoox, the self-driving car startup, for more than $1 billion.

The deal, according to The Information, could be announced Friday.

The acquisition of Zoox deal would give Amazon control of a nearly 1,000-person startup that has designed a prototype vehicle to ferry passengers in urban areas, The Information reported. 

Amazon would be going up against Alphabet's GOOGL, Waymo, which on Thursday said it was partnering with Volvo to develop a self-driving electric vehicle designed for ride-hailing.

4. -- Albertsons' IPO Priced Below Range

The initial public offering of Albertsons, the supermarket operator, was priced lower than expected and fewer shares were sold than anticipated.

The offering was priced at $16 a share Thursday, below the range of between $18 and $20 a share it was seeking. Albertsons sold 50 million shares, below expectations of 65.8 million shares.

The offering values Albertsons at about $9.3 billion.

The IPO was the first in the U.S. to price below its marketed range since GFL Environmental's  (GFL) - Get Report $1.4 billion offering on March 3, according to Bloomberg.

Albertsons’ shares will begin trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday under symbol “ACI." 

5. -- Nike Slides on Surprise Fourth-Quarter Loss

Nike  (NKE) - Get Report fell 3.03% to $98.33 in premarket trading Friday after the sports apparel giant posted a surprise loss in its fiscal fourth quarter after sales slumped 38% amid store closures resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Nike posted a loss of 51 cents a share on revenue $6.31 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of 4 cents a share on revenue of $7.29 billion.

Digital sales in the quarter rose 75% and accounted for 30% of total revenue, Nike said. Fourth-quarter gross margin narrowed by 8.2 percentage points to 37.4%.

Across North America and the Europe-Mideast-Africa and Asia-Pacific-Latin-America regions, about 90% of Nike-owned stores were closed for roughly eight weeks during the quarter in response to the coronavirus.