Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, April 2:
1. -- U.S. Stock Futures Turn Mixed
U.S. stock futures turned mixed Tuesday and global shares traded mostly to the upside as investors balanced stronger-than-expected factory data from the U.S. and China against increasing evidence that the ongoing trade war between the world's two biggest economies has hurt growth in other parts of the world.
Private readings of manufacturing activity in both the U.S. and China released Monday showed modest improvements for both of the world's factory powerhouses in March, with China rising into growth mode for the first time in four months and the U.S. bouncing from two-year lows. The upbeat manufacturing readings, however, clouded readings from other major economies, such as Germany and Japan, that slumped to multi-year lows as they suffered the effects of the U.S.-China trade war.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9 points, futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.5 points, and Nasdaq futures rose 0.5 points.
Stocks closed with sharp gains Monday as equities began the second quarter much like they ended the first quarter, the best three months in nearly a decade. The Dow gained 329 points, or 1.27%, to close at 26,258, the S&P 500 rose 1.16%, and the Nasdaq jumped 1.29%.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Tuesday includes Durable Goods Orders for February at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA - Get Report) reported fiscal second-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.64 a share, missing analysts' estimates by 9 cents. The company also cautioned that 2019 profits would be "roughly flat" from the previous year.
The stock fell 6.3% in premarket trading.
Meanwhile, Dow Inc. (DOW) shares will debut on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, while also being added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, after the company was formally spun off from parent DowDuPont (DWDP) .
2. -- Amazon Set to Lower Prices at Whole Foods
Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report) will lower prices on more than 500 items sold at Whole Foods by Wednesday as the online retailing giant looks to shake the Whole Foods' reputation for being a high-cost grocery option, according to documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Amazon is making the move amid increased competition from grocery stalwarts such as Walmart (WMT - Get Report) and Kroger (KR - Get Report) , whose advertisements tout their low prices. Amazon paid $14 billion in 2017 for Whole Foods, which sometimes has been referred to as "Whole Paycheck" for its high prices. After purchasing Whole Foods, Amazon reduced prices on some popular perishable items, and offered an additional 10% discount on sale items to Amazon Prime members.
The Journal reported that some Whole Foods employees were being scheduled to work overnight Tuesday and early Wednesday in order to switch tags to display the new lower prices and hang orange signs promoting them.
The price cut plan was so secretive that employees in the know were using code names to keep the price cuts under wraps. A Journal source said that few workers at the company's nearly 480 stores knew of the pending price reductions.
3. -- Boeing Needs More Time for 737 MAX Software Fix
The news comes weeks after a fatal airline crash in Ethiopia -- the second in six months of a 737 MAX jet.
"Safety is our first priority, and we will take a thorough and methodical approach to the development and testing of the update to ensure we take the time to get it right," Boeing said in a statement provided to TheStreet.
The airplane maker said it was continuing to work with the Federal Aviation Administration and other agencies to develop and certify its software update and training program it said will remedy problems with the new, high-tech aircraft.
"We are working to demonstrate that we have identified and appropriately addressed all certification requirements and will be submitting for FAA review once completed in the coming weeks."
4. -- McDonald's Buys Stake in Mobile Software Maker Plexure
McDonald's will buy 13.8 million shares of Plexure, a New Zealand-based company, for about $5 million, according to reports. McDonald's last week said it would acquire Dynamic Yield, the Israeli digital startup, to improve the customer experience, particularly during the drive-thru.
"Across all of our markets, we're using technology to elevate and transform the McDonald's customer experience," said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's president and CEO. "Our mobile apps play a key role in our digital acceleration, allowing customers to interact with us on their terms in a personal, customized way. This investment is a testament to our belief in Plexure's ability to deliver strong results for our business as well as the talent and technology they've cultivated."
5. -- Slack Selects the NYSE for Its Direct Listing
Slack Technologies - the creator of the collaborative chat site for work teams - plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange for the direct listing of its shares, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
Slack's initial public offering is expected sometime in June or July. Slack is set to follow Spotify Technology (SPOT - Get Report) in debuting on the NYSE through a direct listing, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter
Slack representatives declined to comment on the report.
Slack announced in February that it would go public, disclosing that it confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the public listing of its Class A common stock. At the time, the California-based company said it would go public following an SEC review process.
Slack has more than 10 million daily users, 85,000 paid subscribers around the world, and claims Panasonic, Nikkei, and Target as among its customers, according to its website.
Slack was last valued privately at more than $7 billion, the Journal reported.
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