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Amazon, Twitter, Apple, S&P 500 Record: 5 Things You Must Know Thursday

Stock futures rise after the Federal Reserve indicates it's not close to ending its accommodative policy; turnout is 55% at Amazon union drive in Alabama; Twitter reportedly considered a takeover of Clubhouse.

Here are five things you must know for Thursday, April 8:

1. -- Stock Futures Edge Higher After S&P 500's Record Close

Stock futures edged higher Thursday following the S&P 500's record close after the Federal Reserve indicated it wasn't near to ending its accommodative policy.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9 points, S&P 500 futures gained 12 points and futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 111 points.

In the minutes from its March meeting, the Fed said it would be some time before conditions were met that would warrant a scaling back of its monthly asset purchases of $120 billion or a boost in short-term interest rates from nearly zero.

The Fed noted Wednesday that the economy was “a long way” from its goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2%.

"The Fed has made it clear that they will remain patient and wait for full employment before tightening," said Jeff Buchbinder, equity strategist for LPL Financial. "That will be a tougher position to maintain later this year after most of the jobs lost from the pandemic are recovered."

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields ticked slightly lower early Thursday to 1.649%.

Stocks ended mixed Wednesday with the S&P 500 closing at a record high of 4,079 - its 18th record close of 2021 - and the Dow gaining 0.05% to 33,446. The Nasdaq slipped 0.07%.

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2. -- Thursday's Calendar: Jobless Claims and Levi Strauss Earnings

The U.S. economic calendar for Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET and a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at the International Monetary Fund's Debate on the Global Economy at 12 p.m.

Earnings reports are expected Thursday from Levi Strauss  (LEVI) - Get Levi Strauss & Co Class A Report, Conagra Brands  (CAG) - Get ConAgra Brands Inc. Report, Constellation Brands  (STZ) - Get Constellation Brands Inc. Report and WD-40  (WDFC) - Get WD-40 Company Report.

3. -- Voter Turnout at Amazon Union Drive About 55%

Voter turnout for a union election at an  (AMZN) - Get Inc. Report warehouse in Alabama was about 55%, with the vote count expected to begin as soon as Thursday afternoon, according to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

More than 3,200 mail ballots were received by the National Labor Relations Board in an election at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, the union said. About 5,800 workers at the facility have been sending in their ballots by mail since voting opened in February.

The workers are voting on whether to join the RWDSU. They have called for higher pay and better working conditions.

If the vote succeeds, the warehouse employees in Alabama would become the first of Amazon's 800,000 U.S. employees to unionize.

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According to the union, hundreds of ballots were challenged “mostly by the employer.”

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

4. -- Twitter Reportedly Discussed a $4 Billion Takeover of Clubhouse

Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Twitter Inc. Report held talks in recent months to acquire social audio app Clubhouse but the talks are no longer ongoing, Bloomberg reported.

The companies discussed a potential valuation of roughly $4 billion for Clubhouse, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. It’s unclear why the discussions stalled, the people added.

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Clubhouse was in talks to raise funding from investors in a round valuing the business at about $4 billion. After the talks with Twitter failed to proceed, Clubhouse began to explore whether it made sense to instead raise financing at that valuation.

Clubhouse, which lets users host their own online radio shows, launched less than a year ago. Twitter’s Clubhouse competitor, called Spaces, launched in late 2020 but is still in beta form.

Twitter shares rose 1.43% in premarket trading Thursday to $69.98.

5. -- Chip Shortage Delays MacBook and iPad Production: Report

Production of some Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report MacBooks and iPads has been postponed because of the global chip shortage, Nikkei reported.

Chip shortages have caused delays in a key step in MacBook production - the mounting of components on printed circuit boards before final assembly, sources told Nikkei Asia. Some iPad assembly was postponed because of a shortage of displays and display components, sources said.

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Apple has pushed back a portion of component orders for the two devices to the second half of the year from the first half, the people told Nikkei.

Production plans for Apple's iPhones so far haven't been affected by the supply shortage, although the supply of some components for the devices was "quite tight," Nikkei reported, citing two sources.

The global semiconductor shortage has impacted items such as smartphones and automobiles.

Apple was rising 0.58% in premarket trading to $128.64.

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