SpaceX, Boeing and Google - 5 Things You Must Know Wednesday

Stock futures rise as Wall Street looks past rising U.S.-China tensions over Hong Kong; job cuts expected at Boeing this week; SpaceX's astronaut launch set for Wednesday.
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Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, May 27:

1. -- Stock Futures Suggest Higher Wall Street Open

Stock futures pointed higher Wednesday as Wall Street looked past rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over Hong Kong and instead focused on the reopening of the global economy.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 343 points, futures for the S&P 500 rose 32 points and Nasdaq futures were up 44 points.

Stocks finished higher Tuesday and the S&P 500 crossed 3,000 intraday for the first time since early March as investors embraced moves by economies across the globe to ease coronavirus lockdowns and welcomed signs of progress toward a Covid-19 vaccine.

Capping gains Wednesday, however, was a report that the Trump administration was considering a range of sanctions to try to punish China for its crackdown on Hong Kong.

Trump is “displeased with China’s efforts and that it’s hard to see how Hong Kong can remain a financial hub if China takes over,”  White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday. 

“Mounting U.S.-China tensions bodes ominous for the global economy amid pandemic fragilities,” said Mizuho Bank.

2. -- Boeing Expected to Announce Job Cuts This Week

Boeing  (BA) - Get Report is expected to announce job cuts in the Seattle-area this week as the planemaker looks to shed employees amid a severe downturn in air travel.

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, which represents about 18,000 engineers in the Puget Sound region, said Boeing informed the union that layoff notices will be issued Friday.

About 1,300 of the union’s members applied for and were accepted to take buyouts, Bloomberg reported, citing a spokesman for the labor group. 

It was reported last month that Boeing was considering a plan to reduce its workforce of 160,000 by about 10%. The cuts largely were expected to come from the aerospace giant's commercial arm, which has been pressured by the crisis in the global airline industry.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reported that Boeing told officials at the engineering union to expect cuts of between 15% and 20% to white-collar workers in the Seattle area and Southern California.

3. -- SpaceX Astronaut Launch Set for Wednesday

The launch of two astronauts in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for 4:33 p.m. ET Wednesday and the weather has been looking more favorable.

The launch to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida will mark the first time astronauts have been sent into orbit atop a rocket and in a capsule both developed and owned by a private company. Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report CEO Elon Musk also serves as chief executive of SpaceX.

The launch also will mark the first time in nearly a decade that American astronauts - Wednesday's crew is Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken - have been launched into space from the United States.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are expected at Kennedy for the planned liftoff.

If Wednesday's launch has to be scrapped because of bad weather, SpaceX has scheduled backup launch windows on Saturday at 3:22 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. 

4. -- HP Inc. and Ralph Lauren Report Earnings

The economic calendar Wednesday includes MBA Mortgage Applications for the week ended May 22 at 7 a.m. ET and the Federal Reserve's "Beige Book" at 2 p.m.

Earnings reports are expected Wednesday from Ralph Lauren  (RL) - Get Report, HP Inc.  (HPQ) - Get Report, NetApp  (NTAP) - Get Report, Autodesk  (ADSK) - Get Report, Box Inc.  (BOX) - Get Report, Workday  (WDAY) - Get Report and Toll Brothers  (TOL) - Get Report.

5. -- Google to Begin Reopening More Offices in July

Alphabet's  (GOOGL) - Get Report Google will begin reopening more offices beginning July 6 but said it was "taking slow, deliberate steps."

Google said employees who want to return to the office can do so but they will return “on a limited, rotating basis” with only about 10% capacity working in a given office.

Employees also have the option of working from home through the end of the year and those who do so will receive a $1,000 allowance to expense equipment.

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