Here are five things you must know for Thursday, March 11:
1. -- Stock Futures Rise as Inflation Worries Ease
Stock futures rose Thursday as a weaker-than-expected report on U.S. inflation calmed worries that price pressures could boost interest rates.
Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 92 points, S&P 500 futures gained 23 points and futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 200 points.
The 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.502% on Thursday, giving a lift to beaten-down tech shares, whose valuations have been questioned recently amid an anticipated increase in inflation and expectations of higher borrowing costs.
Boosting sentiment was House passage of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill. The president is expected to sign the bill Friday. Under the package, millions of Americans will receive $1,400 stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits will be extended and funding for vaccine distribution and the reopening of schools will be ramped up.
Stocks advanced Wednesday and the Dow closed at a record high of 32,297 after consumer prices in the U.S. during February rose less than expected. The S&P 500 closed with a gain of 0.6% for its best-two advance since early February. The Nasdaq fell 0.04%.
2. -- AMC Suffers 88% Sales Slump but CEO Is Optimistic
AMC Entertainment (AMC) - Get Report was rising almost 7% in premarket trading after the world's largest movie-theater chain posted a fiscal fourth-quarter loss narrower than estimates and said it was optimistic about getting to the "other side of this pandemic."
The adjusted loss in the period was $3.15 a share vs. expectations that called for a loss of $3.53.
AMC reported a net loss of $946.1 million, or $6.21 a share, well wider than a year-earlier loss of $14 million. Noncash impairment charges in the quarter were $466.1 million.
Sales in the quarter fell 88% to $162.5 million as the coronavirus pandemic closed theaters across the globe.
“As we sit here today, we see that vaccinations are occurring in the United States at a brisk clip, our theaters in New York City have finally opened with theaters in Los Angeles likely opening shortly as well, blockbuster movie titles are currently scheduled to be released in significant quantity in the coming few months, and we have more than $1 billion of cash on hand,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement. “Taking these facts together, we have reason to be optimistic about AMC’s ability to get to the other side of this pandemic.”
The stock rose 6.9% to $10.53 in premarket trading Thursday.
3. -- Boeing Reportedly Close to Big 737 MAX Deal With Southwest
Boeing (BA) - Get Report extended gains as Southwest Airlines (LUV) - Get Report prepared Thursday to resume flights with the jet maker's 737 MAX and reports said the airline was closing in on a large order for the aircraft.
Southwest said it would add 10 Boeing 737 MAX jets to its schedule, starting Thursday. The planes will make as many 44 flights to 15 cities. The airline plans a wider expansion starting in April.
The company is the last major U.S. airline to resume using 737 MAX jets, after the global fleet was grounded in March 2019 following two crashes, in Indonesia and Ethiopia, that killed a total of 346 people.
Reuters reported Boeing was close to a multibillion-dollar deal to sell dozens of its 737 MAX 7 jets to Southwest, in potentially the company’s largest 737 MAX order since the jet’s safety ban was lifted.
The order would include dozens of firm orders and potentially significant options, sources told Reuters.
Boeing said earlier this week that its net order book in February turned positive for the first time in more than a year, with 86 gross orders paced by 39 new requests for the 737 MAX. That puts Boeing's total backlog at 4,041 aircraft as of the end of February.
TheStreet's Jim Cramer said the run in Boeing shares "has begun" even if "analysts have yet to recognize it."
The stock rose 2.49% to $251.44 in premarket trading Thursday after closing Wednesday with a gain of 6.39%.
4. -- Roblox Soars in Trading Debut
The stock's first trade as a public company was $64.50. Based on that, Roblox was valued at about $42 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In premarket trading Thursday, Roblox shares were rising 9.74% to $76.27.
The San Mateo, Calif., company began trading through a direct listing of 199 million shares, bypassing the traditional route of an initial public offering.
Two-thirds of U.S. children ages 9 to 12 use the Roblox platform. Daily active users jumped 85% last year.
CEO David Baszucki told Bloomberg in an interview that Roblox was looking to expand internationally and may consider acquisitions.
“We’re looking two years out,” Baszucki said. “We’re focused on building the platform, the technology, building an amazingly civil society.”
Coupang, South Korea's largest e-commerce company, will be going public through a traditional IPO after its offering was priced above range at $35, raising $4.6 billion in the biggest share offering in the U.S. this year.
5. -- Thursday's Calendar: Jobless Claims and DocuSign Earnings
Earnings reports are expected Thursday from DocuSign (DOCU) - Get Report, JD.com (JD) - Get Report, Ulta Beauty (ULTA) - Get Report, JinkoSolar (JKS) - Get Report, Zuora (ZUO) - Get Report, Zumiez (ZUMZ) - Get Report and MicroVision (MVIS) - Get Report.
The U.S. economic calendar for Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for January at 10 a.m.