AMC, Stripe, Penn National - 5 Things You Must Know Monday

Stock futures rise following passage of the $1.9 trillion U.S. relief package; Stripe's valuation rises to $95 billion after latest funding round; Dalian Wanda gives up majority control of AMC Entertainment.
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Here are five things you must know for Monday, March 15:

1. -- Stock Futures Rise as Confidence Grows in Economy's Recovery 

Stock futures rose Monday and Treasury yields came off one-year highs following the passage of the $1.9 trillion relief package for the U.S. economy.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 119 points, S&P 500 futures were up 7 points and futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 33 points.

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The 10-year Treasury dipped slightly to 1.618% early Monday but remained elevated as investors' confidence in an economic recovery was boosted by the U.S. aid package and President Joe Biden's pledge that all Americans would be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by May 1.

Many traders and economists alike believe inflation will move higher with the additional stimulus. But Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said U.S. inflation risks remain subdued despite the relief package.

"The most significant risk we face is a workforce that is scarred by a long period of unemployment. People being out of work, not able to find jobs, can have a permanent effect on their well-being. I think that's the most significant risk," Yellen said Sunday on ABC's "This Week. "Is there a risk of inflation? I think there's a small risk. And I think it's manageable. "

Fears of rising inflation likely will be on the minds of investors when the Federal Reserve meets this week. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has said inflation likely will rise as the economy recovers but thinks it will be temporary.

The S&P 500 will begin Monday looking to extend its winning streak to a fifth day. The broad market index rose 2.6% last week, the Dow gained 4.1% and the Nasdaq rose 3.1%.

The Dow and S&P 500 closed Friday at record highs.

2. -- This Week's Calendar: Fed Meeting, Nike and FedEx Earnings

The U.S. economic calendar for Monday includes the Empire State Manufacturing Index for March at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The highlight later in the week will be the Federal Reserve's announcement on interest rates and a press conference Wednesday from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

Data also will be released on retail sales, housing starts and jobless claims.

Earnings reports this week include those from Nike  (NKE) - Get Report, FedEx  (FDX) - Get Report, Lennar  (LEN) - Get Report, Jabil  (JBL) - Get Report, CrowdStrike  (CRWD) - Get Report, Accenture  (ACN) - Get Report and Williams-Sonoma  (WSM) - Get Report.

3. -- Stripe's Valuations Climbs to $95 Billion

Stripe, the online payments processing company, raised $600 million in its latest funding round, pushing its valuation to $95 billion and making it the most valuable U.S. startup.

In a statement, Stripe said it would use the "capital to invest in its European operations, and its Dublin headquarters in particular, support surging demand from enterprise heavyweights across Europe, and expand its Global Payments and Treasury Network."

Bloomberg noted the valuation figure was at the top of the range it reported in November, when Stripe was in talks with investors that would boost its value to more than $70 billion, with the possibility of pushing it to as high as $100 billion. 

The company’s software, which competes with Square  (SQ) - Get Report and PayPal  (PYPL) - Get Report, is used by businesses to accept payments. Customers include Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Report, Salesforce.com  (CRM) - Get Report and Lyft  (LYFT) - Get Report.

Stripe was founded in 2010 by Irish brothers Patrick Collison and his younger sibling John. Their net worth surged to $11.4 billion each with the latest valuation, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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4. -- Dalian Wanda Trims Stake in AMC Entertainment to 9.8%

Dalian Wanda Group, the conglomerate founded by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, has given up its majority control over AMC Entertainment Holdings  (AMC) - Get Report, the world’s largest cinema chain.

Dalian Wanda, which bought AMC in 2012 for $2.6 billion, cut its stake and voting power in the company to 9.8% as of March 3, AMC said in its annual report, Bloomberg reported Sunday. The group continues to be AMC’s largest shareholder.

AMC last week reported a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $946.1 million, but CEO Adam Aron said the company was optimistic about getting to the "other side of this pandemic." AMC's loss for all of 2020 was a record $4.6 billion for 2020 as theater attendance plunged more than 90%.

AMC, like GameStop  (GME) - Get Report, has become a focus of the Reddit investment crowd. The stock has risen more than fivefold this year.

In premarket trading Monday, the stock was rising 6.72% to $11.91.

5. -- Penn National, NXP and Caesars Surge as Stocks Are Added to S&P 500

Penn National Gaming  (PENN) - Get Report was rising more than 6% in premarket trading Monday, NXP Semiconductors  (NXPI) - Get Report jumped 7.56% and Caesars Entertainment  (CZR) - Get Report rose 7.3% following an announcement the stocks will be added to the S&P 500.

Generac Holdings  (GNRC) - Get Report also will be added to the index.

The four companies will replace Flowserve  (FLS) - Get Report, Green Realty  (SLG) - Get Report, Xerox  (XRX) - Get Report and Vontier.

The changes are scheduled to take place before the start of trading on March 22.