Ethereum, Apple and Epic Games, Tesla - 5 Things You Must Know Monday

Stock futures rise after the S&P 500 posted its best monthly gain since November; cryptocurrency ethereum pushes past $3,000; Apple and Epic Games head to court.
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Here are five things you must know for Monday, May 3:

1. -- Stock Futures Higher but Inflation Worries Are Resurfacing

Stock futures rose Monday after the S&P 500 finished last week off record highs but still managed to post its best monthly gain since November.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 218 points, S&P 500 futures gained 21 points and Nasdaq futures were up 38 points.

Stocks have traded higher in recent weeks amid optimism the pandemic in the United States was receding as vaccination programs have helped people get back to work and restrictions have been lifted. The S&P 500 rose 5.2% in April.

But with the reopening of the economy has come concerns about rising inflation and worries the Federal Reserve could begin tapering its $120 billion of monthly asset purchases.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen played down the risks of higher inflation while supporting President Joe Biden's economic plans totaling roughly $6 trillion.

Yellen said Sunday the U.S. government spending would be spread over a decade.

"It's spread out quite evenly over eight to 10 years," Yellen said in an interview Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

She also promised that American families who earn less than $400,000 a year won't see their taxes go up, despite talk of an increase in rates for America's wealthy to for Biden's plans.

2.-- This Week's Calendar: CVS and GM Earnings, Jobs Report

Earnings reports are expected Monday from iRobot  (IRBT) - Get Report, SolarEdge  (SEDG) - Get Report, XPO Logistics  (XPO) - Get Report, Ballard Power Systems  (BLDP) - Get Report and Estee Lauder  (EL) - Get Report.

Reports are expected later in the week from CVS Health  (CVS) - Get Report, Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Report, General Motors  (GM) - Get Report, DuPont  (DD) - Get Report, T-Mobile US  (TMUS) - Get Report, Zillow  (ZG) - Get Report, Under Armour  (UAA) - Get Report, Caesars Entertainment  (CZR) - Get Report, Activision Blizzard  (ATVI) - Get Report, Uber Technologies  (UBER) - Get Report, Rocket Cos.  (RKT) - Get Report,  ViacomCBS  (VIACA) - Get Report and Square  (SQ) - Get Report.

DuPont is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stock? Learn more now.

The U.S. economic calendar Monday includes the Markit Manufacturing PMI (final) for April at 9:45 a.m. ET, the ISM Manufacturing Index for April at 10 a.m. and Construction Spending for March at 10 a.m.

The nonfarm payrolls report for April will be released on Friday.

3. -- Ethereum Pushes Past $3,000

Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, pushed past $3,000 over the past 24 hours and has eaten into Bitcoin’s dominance of the total cryptocurrency market.

Bitcoin, the largest digital currency, now accounts for about 47% of total crypto market value of $2.3 trillion, according to CoinGecko. That's down from about 70% at the start of the year. Ethereum now accounts for about 15% of the crypto market.

Bitcoin has risen over the past 24 hours to $58,426. It fell hard in late April after trading above $64,000. Bitcoin's market cap was at $1.1 trillion, according to CoinGecko.

Ethereum has risen 7.7% over the past day to $3,145. Its market cap has risen to $364.6 billion.

Bitcoin's decline during late April came after many has called for the cryptocurrency to keep rising, with some forecasting that it would hit $100,000 at some point.

4. -- Apple and Epic Games to Meet in Court

Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report and Epic Games, which makes the popular video game "Fortnite," are headed to federal court in California this week. 

Epic Games has accused the tech giant of violating antitrust laws with its App Store fees. The fight began last year after Epic began selling "Fortnite" directly to its customers, violating its contract with Apple, which has a standard 30% App Store fee.

Apple then kicked "Fortnite" off the App Store and Epic Games retaliated with a lawsuit.

Analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush said in a note to clients that ultimately he believes Apple will win the case "while defending its golden jewel App Store ecosystem."

"We will be watching this trial closely and the ultimate ruling likely in the next three weeks for any ripple effects that could negatively impact the App Store fee structure going forward which we view as fortress-like despite the Epic noise," Ives said. "A negative ruling vs. Apple would be a major gut punch to the App Store crown jewel monetization engine. "

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5. -- Tesla Reportedly Begins Engaging With China Regulators

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report has begun boosting its engagement with mainland regulators and beefing up its government relations team, industry sources said, as the electric vehicle company faces scrutiny in China over safety and customer service complaints, Reuters reported.

China is the world's biggest auto market and Tesla's change of  strategy to be more engaged shows the seriousness with which it views the setbacks, Reuters noted.

In past weeks, Tesla executives attended at least four policy discussions, on topics including auto data storage, vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technologies, car recycling and carbon emissions, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Tesla officials largely were absent from these closed-door gatherings.

China accounts for about 30% of Tesla’s global sales.