Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Oct. 4:
1. -- Stocks Tumble as Bond Yields Spike
U.S. stock futures tumbled on Thursday, Oct. 4, following the biggest spike in U.S. Treasury bond yields in nearly two years as investors challenged the Federal Reserve's policy of gradual interest rate hikes amid further signals of surging domestic growth and accelerating inflation.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields extended gains in overnight trading, following Wednesday's increase of 12 basis points -- the biggest single-day move since the 2016 presidential elections -- taking them to 3.21% early Thursday.
The moves were first triggered by a bullish assessment of the U.S. economy from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, and was cemented by the strongest reading for the ISM non-manufacturing index in 21 years. The bond market action suggested investors were ready to re-price inflation expectations based on anticipated wage growth, a bet that could be confirmed as early as Friday, Oct. 5, when the U.S. jobs report will be released.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, and Factory Orders for August at 10 a.m.
Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) - Get Constellation Brands, Inc. Class A Report reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of $2.87 a share, topping analysts' estimates of $2.60. Revenue of $2.3 billion also beat forecast and the spirits maker increased its fiscal 2019 earnings outlook. The stock rose 0.6%.
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2. -- Toyota and SoftBank Establish a Driverless Car Venture
Japanese companies Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) - Get Toyota Motor Corp. Sponsored ADR Report and SoftBank Group Corp. (SFTBY) will form a $20 million joint venture -- Monet Technologies Corp. -- to create businesses that run on driverless technology.
Monet is a shortened version of "mobility network."
The venture will develop on-demand vehicle services, food deliveries, data analysis and hospital shuttles with onboard medical exams, the companies said Thursday.
The joint venture's services will roll out in Japan first, but the companies said they were planning to expand globally. Tech giant SoftBank will own 50.25% of the venture, while Toyota will own 49.75%.
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3. -- Amazon Eliminates Bonuses for Warehouse Workers
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report said existing warehouse workers will no longer receive stock in the company or collect bonuses following an announcement earlier this week from the giant online retailer that it would boost its minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The bonuses end next month, Amazon said. The bonuses went to workers based on their attendance and warehouse productivity.
Amazon also will phase out its restricted stock unit program, which gave shares to workers if they stayed at Amazon for a certain amount of years. Amazon said it will replace it with a program next year that will allow workers to buy stock, but didn't provide details, the Associated Press reported.
4. -- Barnes & Noble Is Exploring a Sale
Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS) - Get Barnes & Noble, Inc. Report jumped 24.7% in premarket trading on Thursday after the struggling bookstore chain disclosed it was forming a special committee to consider "expressions of interest from multiple parties in making an offer to acquire the company" -- including a bid from current Chairman Leonard Riggio.
"The board of directors has appointed a special committee of independent directors ... to lead the strategic review process," the company said in a statement after markets closed Wednesday. "The special committee will be advised by independent legal and financial advisors. Mr. Riggio has committed to support and vote his shares in favor of any transaction recommended by the special committee."
Barnes & Noble has stumbled in recent years as more and more consumers have switched to e-books and online reading from physical books.
5. -- Tilray Plans to Raise $400 Million in Debt Sale
Tilray Inc. (TLRY) - Get Tilray, Inc. Report fell 3.7% in premarket trading after the Canadian cannabis company said it would offer $400 million worth of convertible senior notes to be used for working capital, to fund acquisitions, and to repay a $9.1 million mortgage on a production facility in British Columbia.
Tilray said it would sell the notes in a private placement to "qualified institutional buyers."
The stock has soared more than eight fold since Tilray's initial public offering in July, moving ahead of Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC) - Get Canopy Growth Corporation Report as the largest publicly traded marijuana company, according to Bloomberg.
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