Google, Boeing, Beyond Meat, Coronavirus - 5 Things You Must Know Wednesday

Stock futures fall after the S&P 500 posts its best quarter in more than two decades; Google will delay the reopening of its U.S. offices until September; Boeing failed to tell the FAA about key changes to the 737 MAX jet.
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Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, July 1:

1. -- Stock Futures Fall as Third Quarter Begins

Stock futures were lower Wednesday after the S&P 500 posted its best quarter in more than two decades as lawmakers pumped more than $3 trillion into a U.S. economy badly damaged by the coronavirus outbreak.

Accelerating infections and renewed warnings about a resurgence of the virus put markets in a cautious mood early Wednesday, with contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 265 points, futures for the S&P 500 down 23 points and Nasdaq futures lower by 58 points.

Stocks on Tuesday finished their best quarter since 1998 with solid gains following a steep decline in the first quarter after the coronavirus pandemic caused the U.S. economy to tumble.

The S&P 500 rose 1.5% on Tuesday, bringing its gain for the quarter to nearly 20%. The Dow posted its best quarterly gain since 1987. The Nasdaq had its best quarter since 1999,

“It’s the first time you’ve had back-to-back (quarters) like this since the 1930s,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird. “It’s pretty unprecedented.”

Katerina Simonetti, senior portfolio manager at UBS Private Wealth Management in Philadelphia, said Wall Street should be ready for more uncertainty as the third quarter begins.

"The recent increase in the numbers of reported Covid-19 cases has resulted in considerable market uncertainty," Simonetti said. "Further market decline cannot be ruled out."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House's coronavirus task force, told a Senate panel Tuesday that new cases of the virus in the United States could rise to 100,000 a day if behaviors don’t change.

“The numbers speak for themselves. I’m very concerned. I’m not satisfied with what’s going on because we’re going in the wrong direction,” Fauci said. “Clearly we are not in total control right now.”

2. -- Google to Delay Reopening Offices Until September

Alphabet's  (GOOGL) - Get Report Google will delay the reopening of its U.S. offices until early September after a surge in coronavirus cases in several western and southern states.

All U.S. offices will remain closed until Sept. 7 at the earliest, according to a memo Google sent to employees, Bloomberg reported. 

“While conditions do vary from state to state, we need to see that the U.S. outlook as a whole is stable before we move forward,” wrote Chris Rackow, vice president of global security, in the memo. “As the recent resurgence of cases demonstrates, Covid-19 is still very much alive in our communities.” 

CEO Sundar Pichai said in May that the search giant would slowly begin moving workers back into offices starting July 6.

“For all of you that are working from home, please continue to do so unless you are told otherwise by your manager,” Rackow wrote. “We don’t expect this guidance to change until Monday, September 7 (Labor Day) at the earliest.”

3. -- Boeing Failed to Disclose Key Changes to 737 MAX

Boeing  (BA) - Get Report didn't give the Federal Aviation Administration documents about changes it made to a key flight control system blamed in two deadly crashes of its 737 MAX jet, according to a government report to be released Wednesday.

The Associated Press, citing the government report, said government personnel involved in flight tests knew about changes Boeing made to the MCAS flight-control system but engineers responsible for certifying the 737 MAX didn't. 

FAA engineers didn’t perform a detailed examination of the flight-control system until after the plane's first crash in October 2018 off the coast of Indonesia. A second crash of the jet five months later in Ethiopia brought the death toll in the two crashes to 346.

The crashes led to a global grounding of the 737 MAX in March 2019.

Boeing received approval Monday from the FAA to begin test flights of the 737 MAX aircraft as early as this week.

4. -- ADP Jobs Report, Macy's Earnings Lead Wednesday's Calendar

The economic calendar for Wednesday includes the ADP national employment report for June at 8:15 a.m. ET, the ISM manufacturing index for June at 10 a.m., construction spending for May at 10 a.m., and minutes from the Federal Reserve's June 9-10 meeting at 2 p.m.

Macy's  (M) - Get Report confirmed a $630 million first-quarter loss but said it expects sales to gradually improve over the remainder of the year as coronavirus lockdown orders ease.

General Mills  (GIS) - Get Report reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.10 a share, 4 cents ahead of estimates, as sales of $5.02 billion also topped consensus.

5. -- Beyond Meat to Sell Burgers in Alibaba Stores in China

Beyond Meat  (BYND) - Get Report announced a partnership with Alibaba  (BABA) - Get Report to sell its plant-based burgers in the Chinese technology giant's  Freshippo stores in Shanghai.

Beyond Meat will begin selling its products in 50 Freshippo stores beginning July 4.

The move is Beyond Meat's first venture into the retail space in China. Its products are being sold in KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut locations in the country.

"We know that retail will be a critical part of our success in China, and we're pleased to mark this early milestone within a few months of our market entry," said Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown in a statement.