Dow Rally, Super Tuesday, Target, Qiagen and Waymo - 5 Things You Must Know Tuesday

Stock futures come off highs after G-7 leaders pledge to take all possible steps to safeguard the global economy from shocks related to the spread of the coronavirus but stopped short of offering coordinated interest rate cuts; Joe Biden looks to slow Bernie Sanders' momentum on Super Tuesday; Target and Kohl's report earnings.

Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, March 3:

1. -- Stock Futures Hold Higher After G-7 Issues Statement on Coronavirus

Stock futures came off highs Tuesday, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average scored its biggest-ever single-day point gain, after G-7 leaders pledged to take all possible steps to safeguard the global economy from shocks related to the spread of the coronavirus but stopped short of offering coordinated interest rate cuts to support financial markets.

"Given the potential impacts of Covid-19 on global growth, we reaffirm our commitment to use all appropriate policy tools to achieve strong, sustainable growth and safeguard against downside risks," the G-7 statement said. "Alongside strengthening efforts to expand health services, G-7 finance ministers are ready to take actions, including fiscal measures where appropriate, to aid in the response to the virus and support the economy during this phase."

"G-7 central banks will continue to fulfill their mandates, thus supporting price stability and economic growth while maintaining the resilience of the financial system," the statement added.

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut its key lending rate to a record low 0.5% in an effort to ensure that China's impending slowdown from the virus will have a limited impact on its domestic economy, while the European Central Bank also vowed it was ready to take "appropriate and targeted measures."

President Donald Trump praised the moves while at the same he criticized the Federal Reserve and Chairman Jerome Powell, as he has done many times before, for being "wrong from day one" as he again called for deeper interest rate cuts.

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 125 points, S&P 500 futures were up 9.15 points and Nasdaq futures gained 62.50 points.

Stocks finished sharply higher Monday as investors looked to central bank support amid last week's $6 trillion global market meltdown.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 1,293 points, or 5%, to 26,703, the S&P 500 rose 4.6% and the Nasdaq gained 4.49%.

The Dow posted its biggest-ever point gain and biggest percentage increase since March 2009. The S&P 500's rise of 4.6% was the index's best day since December 2018.

2. -- Biden Scores Endorsements Ahead of Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday is a critical day for the Democratic Party as 14 states will vote to choose who they want to put up against Donald Trump in the presidential election in November.

There are 1,357 delegates at stake, about a third of all delegates. 

Millions of voters from Maine to California will head to the polls. 

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is the front-runner but former Vice President Joe Biden  picked up the endorsements of Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who on Monday ended her campaign for president, and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who dropped out on Sunday.

Tuesday's contests will be the first test for Michael Bloomberg, who skipped the first four states but who has spent more than half a billion dollars in advertising as he seeks the Democratic Party's nomination.

3. -- Target, Kohl's and Nordstrom Report Earnings

Target  (TGT) - Get Report earned an adjusted $1.69 a share in the fourth quarter, beating analysts' estimates by 4 cents. The retailer said it expects first-quarter earnings of $1.55 to $1.75 a share vs. estimates of $1.66. 

Earnings reports are also expected Tuesday from Kohl's  (KSS) - Get Report, Nordstrom  (JWN) - Get Report, Urban Outfitters  (URBN) - Get Report, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise  (HPE) - Get Report and Autozone  (AZO.) - Get Report

The economic calendar in the U.S. Tuesday includes Motor Vehicle Sales for February from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

4. -- Thermo Fisher to Buy Qiagen for $10 Billion

Thermo Fisher Scientific  (TMO) - Get Report agreed to buy Dutch genetic testing company Qiagen QGEN for $10 billion.

Qiagen shares jumped 16.09% to $41.93 a share in premarket trading Tuesday after agreeing to be acquired for €39 a share in cash, a 23% premium from the stock's closing price Monday.

Including debt, the transaction values Qiagen at $11.5 billion.

Thermo Fisher, the U.S. laboratory equipment maker, said it expects the deal to boost its per-share earnings immediately after the close, which is expected in the first half of 2021. The company also expects synergies of $200 million in the third year after the merger is completed.

Qiagen, back in late December, had said it would remain a stand-alone business following a review of strategic alternatives. 

5. -- Alphabet's Waymo Raises $2.25 Billion in Outside Funding

Alphabet’s  (GOOGL) - Get Report self-driving car division, Waymo, has raised $2.25 billion from a slate of outside investors.

The company raised the funds in a round led by Silver Lake, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Mubadala Investment Co., a UAE-based sovereign wealth fund. It was Waymo’s first outside round of fundraising.

“With this injection of capital and business acumen, alongside Alphabet, we’ll deepen our investment in our people, our technology, and our operations, all in support of the deployment of the Waymo Driver around the world,” said John Krafcik, Waymo’s CEO, in a blog post.

Waymo Driver refers to the technology that operates its self-driving cars, which have been deployed on a limited basis in a handful of U.S. metro areas. Waymo also operates a small ride-hailing service in the Phoenix area, matching test riders with autonomous rides and charging for them.

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