Here are five things you must know for Friday, March 29:
1. -- Stocks Rise Amid 'Constructive' Trade Talks
U.S. stock futures rose on Friday and global stocks traded higher amid progress in U.S.-China trade talks, modestly higher fixed income yields and the opening trade for ride-hailing giant Lyft (LYFT) - Get Report in the biggest initial public offering since 2014.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said through his verified social media account Friday that talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and the China trade team in Beijing were "constructive," adding Liu would travel to Washington next week to move the discussions forward.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 113 points, futures for the S&P 500 gained 11.50 points, and Nasdaq futures were up 32.25 points. The Nasdaq's move would extend the tech-heavy index's quarter-to-date gain to about 15.8%, an advance that leads the three major indexes in the best first quarter since 2009. The Dow has gained just more than 10.25% since the start of the year, while the S&P 500 has risen 12.3%.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes Personal Income and Outlays for February at 8:30 a.m. ET, Chicago PMI for March at 9:45 a.m., New Home Sales for February at 10 a.m., and Consumer Sentiment for March at 10 a.m.
2. -- Lyft's IPO Is Priced at $72 a Share
Ahead of Friday's trading debut on the Nasdaq Stock Market, 32.5 million shares of Lyft were priced at $72 each, raising more than $2.3 billion for the San Francisco-based company and valuing it at about $24.3 billion.
The price was at the top range of the estimates that Lyft filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. The price range initially was set at $62 to $68 a share, but the estimate was lifted earlier this week to $70 to $72 because of greater-than-expected demand for the offering.
Uber Technologies also plans to go public in the coming months (many reports have said April), and Lyft faces tough competition from its larger ride-share rival.
Lyft expanded its market share to 39% in 2018 from 22% in 2016. But the company has lost a total of $3 billion since it began operating in 2012, and there is still no guarantee the company will become profitable, a risk Lyft flagged in its own regulatory filings.
3. -- Tim Sloan Steps Down as CEO of Wells Fargo
The comment also may sum up the gnawing feelings of a growing number of stock analysts and shareholders toward the San Francisco-based bank's top management: It's time for a change, wrote TheStreet's Bradley Keoun.
Wells Fargo was rising 2.2% to $50.15 in premarket trading Friday, an indication that Wall Street was pleased by the move.
Sloan's departure is an "opportunity for Wells Fargo to distance itself from its past business practices," said Fitch Ratings, the bond-rating firm, in a press statement.
Wells Fargo's board will now conduct an external search for candidates. General Counsel Allen Parker will serve as interim CEO until a replacement is found.
The decision to recruit from outside the bank could provide cover for a future CEO from accusations that have haunted Sloan since he took over in 2016: Namely, that he was tainted by his long tenure in the management team that failed to prevent the series of scandals.
Elevated fines and legal settlements have cost shareholders more than $4.5 billion in penalties and forgone revenue in recent years, based on a tally by TheStreet.
4. -- AstraZeneca in $6.9 Billion Cancer Drug Deal With Japan's Daiichi Sankyo
Shares of AstraZeneca (AZN) - Get Report tumbled Friday after the drugmaker reached a potential $6.9 billion deal with Japan's Daiichi Sankyo to develop and market a breast and gastric cancer treatment over the coming years.
AstraZeneca will pay Daiichi, with whom it has a prior agreement to market the constipation drug Movantik, around $1.35 billion upfront, with incentives and targets pegged at $5.55 billion, for shared worldwide costs and profits for the drug, known as trastuzumab deruxtecan.
"We believe that trastuzumab deruxtecan could become a transformative new medicine for the treatment of HER2-positive breast and gastric cancers," said CEO Pascal Soriot. "In addition, it has the potential to redefine breast cancer treatment as the first therapy for HER2-low expressing tumours."
American depositary receipts of AstraZeneca traded in the U.S. declined 5.4% to $40.66 in premarket trading.
5. -- Morgan Stanley President Colm Kelleher to Retire
The announcement of Kelleher's retirement was made in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, and confirmed by a spokesman to TheStreet, following inquiries about a Reuters report on the retirement.
Kelleher had been with Morgan three decades, after first joining the financial firm in 1989 and working in the U.S., Europe and Asia in a various roles, including head of global capital markets, chief financial officer, and head of corporate strategy where he helped Morgan "navigate the depths of the financial crisis."
"On a personal level, I have to say that every time I have faced an issue of real significance Colm has been the most important person I have sought advice from," wrote CEO James Gorman in a memo obtained by TheStreet to employees. "I could trust his candor, respect his intellect and always felt he addressed issues for what was in the firm's best interest."
Kelleher was named president in 2016.
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