Here are five things you must know for Monday, March 1:
1. -- Stock Futures Point Higher as Bonds Stabilize
Stock futures pointed to a solid open for Wall Street Monday as the bond market stabilized and investors looked to the passage of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package.
Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 298 points, S&P 500 futures gained 38 points and Nasdaq futures jumped 156 points.
Benchmark Treasury yields traded at 1.431% on Monday, retreating from last week's one-year highs of 1.6% that were spurred by expectations for stronger growth and fears that inflation will rise along with an economic recovery.
The Dow tumbled 469 points on Friday as the jump in interest rates unsettled investors on Wall Street.
For the week, the Dow fell 1.8%, the S&P 500 declined 2.5% and the Nasdaq sank 4.9%.
Biden's pandemic relief bill, approved early Saturday by the U.S. House of Representatives, now goes to the Senate for approval.
2. -- Monday's Calendar: Zoom Video and NIO Earnings, Manufacturing Data
Earnings reports are expected Monday from Zoom Video Communications (ZM) - Get Report, NIO (NIO) - Get Report, Workhorse Group (WKHS) - Get Report, Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) - Get Report, Travelzoo (TZOO) - Get Report and Novavax (NVAX) - Get Report.
Reports later in the week are expected from Target (TGT) - Get Report, Kohl's (KSS) - Get Report, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) - Get Report, Dollar Tree (DLTR) - Get Report, Nordstrom (JWN) - Get Report, Snowflake (SNOW) - Get Report, Splunk (SPLK) - Get Report, Costco (COST) - Get Report, Marvell Technology (MRVL) - Get Report, Broadcom (AVGO) - Get Report, Kroger (KR) - Get Report and Gap (GPS) - Get Report.
The U.S. economic calendar for Monday includes Markit manufacturing PMI (final) for February at 9:45 a.m. ET, the ISM Manufacturing Index for February at 10 a.m. and Construction Spending for January at 10 a.m.
The official U.S. jobs report for February will be released on Friday. Economists surveyed by FactSet expect the U.S. to have added 200,000 jobs last month.
3. -- J&J's COVID-19 Vaccine Gets CDC Approval
Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine received the expected approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday, allowing the healthcare giant to begin distributing the vaccine in the U.S.
J&J's vaccine is the third vaccine authorized in the U.S. to combat the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, the disease that has killed more than 513,000 Americans. The shot was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday.
"The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a lower efficacy compared to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but it’s still going to be an extremely useful tool in the toolbox," Zoe Hyde, an epidemiologist and biostatistician at the University of Western Australia, told TheStreet."What makes the Johnson & Johnson vaccine a game-changer, is that it’s a single-dose vaccine. This means it will rapidly cut down the time required to vaccinate people, and bring the U.S. epidemic to an end more quickly."
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was found in a large trial to be around 72% effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. The vaccines from Moderna MRNA and Pfizer PFE require two doses, but were more than 94% effective in their studies.
The federal government as soon as Monday may begin distributing the 3.9 million available doses of J&J's vaccine.
J&J has said it can deliver about 20 million doses of its vaccine in the U.S. by March 31.
Johnson & Johnson shares rose 3% in premarket trading Monday to $163.21.
4. -- Walmart Hires Two Goldman Bankers for Fintech Startup
The retailer reportedly has tapped Omer Ismail, who leads Goldman’s consumer bank, and his colleague David Stark, to join its effort with investment firm Ribbit Capital, according to reports from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal.
Ismail’s hiring potentially could lead to Walmart filing an application to become a bank of its own following a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. rule that paved the way for non-financial firms to seek banking charters, Bloomberg noted.
Walmart in early January revealed it was creating a fintech startup and that the venture with Ribbit Capital would "bring together Walmart’s retail knowledge and scale with Ribbit’s fintech expertise."
A partner at Goldman Sachs, Ismail played a role in launching the firm's consumer business, according to his LinkedIn profile. He also spent a decade in private equity investing at Goldman, where he "focused on investing in technology-enabled businesses in the financial services, media and healthcare sectors," according to his profile.
5. -- AMC and GameStop Trade Higher
AMC Entertainment (AMC) - Get Report was rising more than 11% in premarket trading Monday, while GameStop (GME) - Get Report, the stock at the center of the Reddit-fueled buying frenzy in January, was up more than 4%.
There was little news fueling the gains early Monday. Bloomberg noted the two companies were among the most mentioned over the weekend on social media platform Stocktwits.
In a regulatory filing Friday, AMC said it approved millions in bonuses to its top executives and eligible employees recognizing their "extraordinary efforts" during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Movie theater chains like AMC, the world's largest, have been among the hardest hit businesses during the pandemic.
AMC said CEO Adam Aron would receive $3.75 million in bonuses. Other top executives will get bonuses of $173,000 to $507,000.