Skip to main content

J&J, Microsoft, Micron, Chipotle, Bitcoin - 5 Things You Must Know Thursday

President Biden announces a $2.25 trillion spending plan; Micron and Western Digital reportedly exploring deals for Japan's Kioxia; Microsoft wins $22 billion Army contract for AR headsets.

Here are five things you must know for Thursday, April 1:

1. -- Stock Futures Rise After Biden Announces Massive Spending Plan

Stock futures were higher Thursday after President Joe Biden announced a $2.25 trillion infrastructure spending plan but gains were tempered by fresh lockdowns in France and Canada’s Ontario province.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 43 points, S&P 500 futures were up 14 points and futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 135 points.

Biden's infrastructure proposal includes a doubling of federal funding for public transportation, $650 billion for clean water and high-speed broadband, more than $500 billion in spending on manufacturing, and $400 billion for improved care for the elderly and people with disabilities.

Biden said Wednesday the proposal would "rebuild the backbone of America ... from the bottom up and the middle out." The president added that it represented a "once in a generation investment in America."

To pay for the bill, Biden's plan would increase the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% and set a 21% minimum tax on global corporate earnings.

Biden’s plan drew criticism from Republicans who complained the increase in taxes will undo corporate gains during the Trump administration, while some progressive Democrats said the package didn't go far enough.

A resurgence in COVID-19 cases forced France into its third national lockdown and Ontario is expected to announce the province will be put under lockdown restrictions for 28 days.

In the U.S., a mix-up at an Emergent Biosolutions  (EBS) - Get Emergent Biosolutions Inc. Report manufacturing plant in Maryland ruined 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report COVID-19 vaccine, forcing a halt in deliveries from the facility.

The S&P 500 closed higher Wednesday and rose for the fourth straight quarter, finishing with a gain for the period of 5.8%. The broad market index set an intraday all-time high during the session. 

2. -- Thursday's Calendar: Jobless Claims, ISM Manufacturing Index

The U.S. economic calendar for Thursday includes Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, the PMI Manufacturing Final for March at 9:45 a.m., the ISM Manufacturing Index for March at 10 a.m. and Construction Spending for February at 10 a.m.

The official U.S. jobs report for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. on Good Friday, a day when stock markets will be closed. The last time that occurred was in 2015, and it only has happened 12 times since 1980, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Economists expect the U.S. to have added 614,000 jobs in March, with the unemployment rate falling to 6%.

Carmax  (KMX) - Get CarMax Inc Report is expected to report quarterly earnings on Thursday.

3. -- Micron and Western Digital Exploring Deals for Japan's Kioxia

Micron Technology  (MU) - Get Micron Technology Inc. Report and Western Digital  (WDC) - Get Western Digital Corporation Report each reportedly are exploring a potential deal for Japanese semiconductor company Kioxia that could be valued at around $30 billion.

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

Should a deal come together, it could be finalized later this spring, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

Kioxia is controlled by private-equity firm Bain Capital. It makes NAND flash-memory chips used in smartphones, computer servers and other devices.

Tokyo-based Kioxia had been planning an initial public offering before scrapping those plans in September. An IPO later in 2021 is still a possibility should the company fail to reach agreement on a deal with one of the suitors, the people told the Journal.

Any deal would require blessings from both the Japanese and U.S. governments. A deal could be favorable to Washington amid a push to boost its chipmaking capabilities to increase competitiveness with China, the Journal noted.

Separately, Micron was rising nearly 4% in premarket trading after the largest U.S. maker of memory chips issued a robust earnings and sales forecast for its fiscal third quarter.

4. -- Microsoft Wins $22 Billion Army Contract for AR Headsets

Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report won a huge Pentagon contract for augmented reality headsets that could be worth nearly $22 billion over the next 10 years.

Microsoft will make more than 120,000 of the headsets that will feature the company's HoloLens technology supported by Microsoft Azure cloud services, the company said in a blog post.

"The IVAS headset, based on HoloLens and augmented by Microsoft Azure cloud services, delivers a platform that will keep soldiers safer and make them more effective," Microsoft said. "The program delivers enhanced situational awareness, enabling information sharing and decision-making in a variety of scenarios." 

The contract comes as Microsoft's win of a $10 billion deal to provide cloud services to the military remains in dispute. The award of the so-call Jedi contract came during the Trump administration in a win over's  (AMZN) - Get Inc. Report AWS cloud services.

Microsoft shares rose 1.2% in premarket trading to $238.59.

Microsoft and Amazon are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

5. -- Chipotle Giving Away $100,000 in Bitcoin on National Burrito Day

Chipotle Mexican Grill  (CMG) - Get Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. Report will be celebrating National Burrito Day on Thursday by giving away $100,000 in free burritos and $100,000 in bitcoin

Chipotle will be partnering with Stefan Thomas, founder and chief executive of Coil, to launch an interactive game called "Burritos or Bitcoin."

Thomas, a programmer who lives in San Francisco, made headlines by losing the login to his hard drive that stored $387 million in bitcoin.

The contest begins at 12 p.m. ET at and ends at 9 p.m.