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AstraZeneca, GameStop, Nasdaq, Texas Roadhouse - 5 Things You Must Know Monday

Nasdaq futures rise as Treasury yields pull back; GameStop reports earnings this week, AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine is found to be 79% effective in a U.S. trial.

Here are five things you must know for Monday, March 22:

1. -- Nasdaq Futures Rise as Yields Pull Back

Stock futures traded mixed Monday but the Nasdaq looked poised to trade higher as Treasury yields pulled back.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 57 points, S&P 500 futures rose 2 points and futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 92 points.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was at 1.675% early Monday, coming off last week's levels that were the highest in about 14 months.

Bond yields have been rising on investor concerns that a stronger economic rebound will lead to higher inflation. Those worries, in turn, have sparked a rotation to value stocks and away from high-growth equities, particularly rate-sensitive technology shares.

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin told Bloomberg that at as the pandemic recedes and the economy recovers prices will be pushed up. But he added there was no sign yet that this will deliver unwanted inflation.

“We are going to see an extremely strong year and I think that strong year is going to lead to price pressures.,” Barkin said Sunday in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “I want to emphasize inflation is not a one-year phenomenon, it’s a multi-year phenomenon.”

The Fed has said it believes an increase in inflation in 2021 will be temporary given COVID-19's disruption to the labor market. 

Why Jim Cramer Doesn't Want Investors Worrying About Inflation

Wall Street finished to the downside last week, with the S&P 500 posting its first weekly decline in three weeks. The broad market index set an all-time high last Wednesday.

The Turkish lira tumbled as much as 15% on Monday after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan abruptly replaced the country's central bank chief.

2. -- This Week's Calendar: Jerome Powell Speaks, GameStop Earnings

The U.S. economic calendar on Monday includes Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's participation in a Bank for International Settlements discussion on central bank innovation at 9 a.m. ET, and Existing Home Sales for February at 10 a.m. 

Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will make their first joint appearances this week before congressional committees. On Tuesday, they will discuss the CARES Act before the House Financial Services Committee, and on Wednesday they will appear before the Senate Banking Committee.

Data on New Homes Sales, Durable Goods Orders, Jobless Claims, Consumer Sentiment and fourth-quarter GDP will be released later this week.

Earnings reports are expected this week from GameStop  (GME) , Adobe  (ADBE) , General Mills  (GIS) , Darden Restaurants  (DRI) , IHS Markit  (INFO) , KB Home  (KBH)  and Blink Charging  (BLNK) .

GameStop Earnings Preview: What Jim Cramer Is Watching

3. -- AstraZeneca's COVID-19 Vaccine Is 79% Effective in U.S. Trial

AstraZeneca's  (AZN)  COVID-19 vaccine was shown to be 79% effective with no serious side effects in U.S. clinical trials of more than 32,000 people.

The shot also was 100% effective at preventing severe disease and death.

The U.K. drugmaker said it would continue to analyze the data and prepare to seek emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks.

Several European countries halted the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine following blood-clotting issues in a very small number of people. But they resumed administering the shot after the European Medicines Agency and U.K.’s regulator said last week no definitive link could be established between the clots and the vaccine.

American depositary receipts of AstraZeneca rose 1.28% to $49.84 in premarket trading Monday.

4. -- Canadian Pacific to Buy Kansas City Southern for $25 Billion

Kansas City Southern  (KSU)  agreed to a $25 billion takeover by Canadian Pacific Railway  (CP)  in a stock-and-cash deal that creates the first comprehensive rail network connecting Mexico, Canada and the United States.

The deal, which includes around $3.8 billion in Kansas City Southern debt, values the rail company at around $275 a share, a 22.6% premium to its closing price on Friday. 

The combined company, which will be run by Canadian Pacific CEO Keith Creel, will be based in Calgary and operate around 20,000 miles of track, employ nearly 20,000 people and generate nearly $9 billion in annual revenue

The new entity will called Canadian Pacific Kansas City, or CPKC.

The companies expect the merger to receive final approval from regulators by mid-2022. 

Kansas City Southern rose 14.65% to $257.01. Canadian Pacific declined nearly 3%.

5. -- Texas Roadhouse CEO Taylor Died by Suicide

Texas Roadhouse  (TXRH)  founder Kent Taylor died by suicide last week after battling symptoms following a case of COVID-19, the company and his family said in a joint statement. 

“After a battle with post-COVID related symptoms, including severe tinnitus, Kent Taylor took his own life,” the statement said. “Kent battled and fought hard like the former track champion that he was, but the suffering that greatly intensified in recent days became unbearable.”

He was 65. He founded the restaurant chain in 1993 and most recently served as its CEO and chairman.

Texas Roadhouse named current President Jerry Morgan as CEO following the death of Taylor.