Joe Biden, Covid Deaths, Amazon, Boeing - 5 Things You Must Know Tuesday

Stock futures point to a rebound after the S&P 500 falls for a fourth-straight session; the U.S. death toll from Covid-19 crosses 300,000; Joe Biden's victory made official by Electoral College.
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Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, Dec. 15:

1. -- Stock Futures Point to a Wall Street Rebound

Stock futures pointed to a rebound Tuesday after the S&P 500 fell for a fourth-straight session as surging coronavirus infections across the country renewed fears that an economic recovery could slow if lockdowns are again put in place.

The benchmark index's four-day losing streak was its longest since September.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 173 points, S&P 500 futures gained 23 points and Nasdaq futures were up 69 points.

Stocks closed mixed Monday amid investors' fears of renewed lockdowns as the death toll from Covid-19 in the United States crossed 300,000. 

The grim milestone came the same day the first person in the U.S. - a nurse in New York City - received a vaccine developed by Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Report and BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get Report.

Wall Street remains tuned to efforts by lawmakers in Washington to craft a stimulus bill but bitter partisanship has stalled negotiations.

“Again, it feels like we are stuck in the negative feedback loop,” said Stephen Innes of trading firm Axi. “Unless policymakers overdeliver on market expectations, especially at this time of year when our risk-taking proclivities give way to profit-taking, it seems virus-related economic restrictions will never cease to weigh as the market (continues) to straddle that fence between hope and reality.”

2. -- Tuesday's Calendar: The Final Fed Meeting of the Year Begins 

The economic calendar Tuesday includes the start of two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve, the central bank's last meeting of the year.

An announcement on interest rates is expected Wednesday afternoon. While the central bank is expected to hold rates steady, indications on what moves the Fed may make in the new year, including guidance on continued asset purchases, will be watched closely by Wall Street.

Fed officials likely will link the future of asset purchases to measures of employment and inflation without taking any immediate action to alter the pace of bond buying, Bloomberg reported, citing economists who it surveyed.

The calendar also includes the Empire State Manufacturing Index for December at 8:30 a.m. ET, Import and Export Prices for November at 8:30 a.m. and Industrial Production for November at 9:15 a.m.

Earnings reports are expected Tuesday from American Outdoor Brands (AOUT) and MTS Systems  (MTSC) - Get Report.

3. -- Joe Biden's Victory Made Official by Electoral College

Joe Biden’s Electoral College win over President Donald Trump was finalized Monday after the Democrat collected the 270 votes needed to secure the presidency.

The remaining step in Biden's election comes Jan. 6, when Congress counts the votes.

Trump and his allies are continuing to protest the result, which showed him collect only 232 electoral votes to Biden's 306.

In a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden noted his 306 Electoral College votes, the same number Trump earned in 2016.

“At the time, President Trump called his Electoral College tally a landslide,” Biden said. “By his own standards, these numbers represented a clear victory then, and I respectfully suggest they do so now.”

Biden will be sworn in on Jan. 20.

“We the people voted. The integrity of our elections remains intact. And so, now it is time to turn the page, as we’ve done throughout our history - to unite, to heal,” Biden said.

4. -- FTC Orders Tech Giants to Share Data Collection Information

The Federal Trade Commission has asked tech giants such as Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Report, Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Report, Alphabet's  (GOOGL) - Get Report YouTube, Facebook  (FB) - Get Report and its subsidiary WhatsApp, and ByteDance's TikTok, to share information on their privacy and data collection practices.

Companies must file their reports to the commission within 45 days.

The move came just days after the agency and state attorneys general from 48 states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, charging the social media company engaged in anticompetitive behavior to maintain a monopoly position in personal social networking.

The new study is focused on determining how tech privacy and data practices affect children and teens, according to a statement released by FTC.

The FTC will require the companies to submit documents and information that includes the usage and engagement data those platforms are gathering on their users.

“We’re working, as we always do, to ensure the FTC has the information it needs to understand how Twitter operates its services,” said a Twitter spokesperson in a statement.

5. -- Boeing Broadens Inspections of 787 Dreamliner

Boeing  (BA) - Get Report has expanded inspections of its newly produced 787 Dreamliner planes after finding a previously disclosed manufacturing defect in sections of the jet where the issue hadn't been initially detected.

Boeing engineers and U.S. air-safety regulators have determined that the issue doesn't pose an imminent safety hazard, Bloomberg reported.

However, the newly discovered defects could increase the Federal Aviation Administration's scrutiny of 787 production safeguards.

The latest issue involves tiny variances in the interior lining where composite fuselage barrels are linked to create the Dreamliner’s structure. In some instances, the so-called join “may not meet skin flatness tolerances,” Boeing said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.

Those areas can create tiny gaps where fuselage sections are linked together and could lead to premature structural fatigue, which would require extensive repairs.

This would be the fourth assembly line issue affecting the company's family of wide-body jets that has been discovered over the last four months. Boeing has been looking to recover from the grounding since March 2019 of its 737 MAX.

Boeing shares rose 0.73% to $230.29 in premarket trading Tuesday.