Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Feb. 11:
1. -- Stock Futures Rise as Wall Street Debates Tame Inflation
Stock futures traded higher Thursday as tame U.S. inflation data has investors debating whether it will remain that way as President Joe Biden pushes for a massive stimulus package and when consumer spending begins to ramp up after coronavirus lockdowns ease.
Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 84 points, S&P 500 futures gained 13 points and Nasdaq futures were up 70 points.
Nancy Davis, founder of Quadratic Capital Management, said while data on U.S. consumer prices weren't showing an increase in inflation now, it's "on its way thanks to fiscal and monetary stimulus and pent-up consumer demand that should intensify as the economy reopens."
Stocks finished mixed Thursday with the Dow closing at a record high even as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. labor market was a "long way" from a recovery.
“We are still very far from a strong labor market whose benefits are broadly shared,” Powell said Wednesday in a speech before the Economic Club of New York. “Achieving and sustaining maximum employment will require more than supportive monetary policy.”
Powell's speech was made as Biden and Democrats push a $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package that likely will be passed without support from lawmakers on the Republican side.
Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial, said while "many worried about too much stimulus and higher inflation," Powell "is more worried about a stubborn employment picture."
Meanwhile, Biden held his first conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping since taking office, and discussed his concerns about China’s “coercive and unfair economic practices,” according to the White House.
2. -- Bumble Raises $2.15B in IPO
Bumble sold 50 million shares at $43 a share. The offering price was well above a previous targeted range of $37 to $39 a share, which was raised from an earlier target of$28 to $30.
Shares of Bumble will begin trading Thursday on the Nasdaq under symbol "BMBL."
On the Bumble app, women always initiate conversations.
“We purpose-built the Bumble app with features designed to empower women, giving them more control in relationships," Bumble said in its prospectus. "We believe that by empowering women through rewriting relationship dynamics, we can make the world better for everyone.”
Bumble has a market value of about $8.2 billion based on the outstanding Class A shares listed in its filings, according to Bloomberg. Blackstone Group (BX) - Get Report took a majority stake in Bumble’s parent company, MagicLab, in 2019 in a transaction that valued it at $3 billion.
3. -- Tilray Surges as Cannabis Sector Lights Up Reddit
Tilray (TLRY) - Get Report was rising nearly 14% in premarket trading Thursday, adding to its jump of 51% in the previous session, as the cannabis sector has caught the attention of traders on Reddit.
Aphria (APHA) - Get Report, which agreed in December to merge with Tilray in an all-stock deal to create the world’s biggest marijuana production and distribution company, was rising more than 12% in premarket trading.
Reddit, the message platform, has roiled the market for the past several weeks, as retail investors rallied around such companies as GameStop (GME) - Get Report and AMC Entertainment (AMC) - Get Report.
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic told Barron's that a lot of the activity in pot stocks "can be attributed to retail investors deciding to look for GME type opportunities in cannabis."
Tilray surged earlier this week after unveiling an agreement with peer Grow Pharma to import and distribute medical-cannabis products in the United Kingdom.
4. -- Thursday's Calendar: Disney and PepsiCo Earnings, Jobless Claims
Earnings reports are also expected Thursday from Walt Disney (DIS) - Get Report, Kraft Heinz (KHC) - Get Report, Expedia (EXPE) - Get Report, Molson Coors (TAP.A) - Get Report, Cloudflare (NET) - Get Report, Kellogg (K) - Get Report, Datadog (DDOG) - Get Report, Tyson Foods (TSN) - Get Report, Yeti Holdings (YETI) - Get Report, Seagen (SGEN) - Get Report and VeriSign (VRSN) - Get Report.
The U.S. economic calendar for Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET.
5. -- Microsoft Reportedly Made an Approach to Buy Pinterest
Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report approached Pinterest (PINS) - Get Report in recent months about a potential deal to acquire the social media company, the Financial Times reported, but the talks currently weren't active.
Pinterest was rising 7.48% in premarket trading to $87.19, while Microsoft was up less than 1%.
Pinterest, whose market value has increased more than 600% during the coronavirus pandemic, has signaled in the past that it wants to remain an independent company, the Financial Times noted. Pinterest's market cap following Wednesday's trading session was about $50 billion.
A purchase of Pinterest would be the largest deal ever for Microsoft.
Microsoft and Pinterest declined to comment to the Financial Times.