Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Oct. 3:
1. -- Stocks Higher as Fed's Powell Says U.S. Outlook 'Remarkably Positive'
U.S. stock futures rose on Wednesday, Oct. 3, and global shares were mixed as markets remained sensitive to political headline risk as investors kept an eye on developments in Italy's budget crisis and the fate of the newly revamped trade agreement among the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Those concerns, however, were mitigated by a glowing assessment of the U.S. economy from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who told the National Association for Business Economics on Tuesday, Oct. 2, that the domestic outlook was "remarkably positive" thanks in part to the "historically rare" combination of low unemployment and tepid inflation.
"This forecast is not too good to be true," Powell insisted, but is rather a "testament to the fact that we remain in extraordinary times. These developments amount to a better world for households and businesses which no longer experience or even fear the scourge of high and volatile inflation."
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average
The Dow ended Tuesday an an all-time closing high of 26,773.94.
2. -- ADP Jobs Report Highlights Wednesday's Calendar
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the ADP National Employment Report for September at 8:15 a.m. ET, the PMI Services Index for September at 9:45 a.m., and the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for September at 10 a.m.
The ADP employment data are a precursor to the official U.S. nonfarm payrolls report, which will be released on Friday, Oct. 5.
Lennar Corp. (LEN) rose 2.8% in premarket trading after the homebuilder's third-quarter earnings and sales topped analysts' estimates.
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3. -- Some Tesla Directors Propose James Murdoch as Chairman - Report
Some directors of Tesla Inc. (TSLA) have proposed that James Murdoch, a director at the electric vehicle company and CEO of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) , should succeed Elon Musk as chairman, The New York Times reported, citing people involved in the board's deliberations.
Murdoch hasn't volunteered for the post nor has he discussed it with any other director. Another person close to the selection process told the Times the board hadn't yet engaged in any "serious" discussions of who should be chairman.
Under terms of a settlement that Tesla and Musk reached with the Securities and Exchange Commission last weekend, the board has 45 days before Musk must resign. Under the deal, Tesla will name an independent chairman to replace Musk and add two independent directors. Musk will be ineligible to chair the company for three years. Tesla and Musk also will each pay $20 million.
- Tesla Climbs Amid Report James Murdoch Mooted to Replace Elon Musk as Chairman
- Who Should Replace Elon Musk as Tesla's Chairman?
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4. -- Tim Cook Says Massive Data Breach Won't Happen at Apple
Apple Inc. (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook told Vice News in an interview on Tuesday that a data breach, similar to the one that Facebook Inc. (FB) announced on Friday, the largest security breach in its history, won't happen at the iPhone maker.
Cook said the personal data that Apple collects stays locked on iPhones, where even Apple can't access it.
"We're not in the business of building the detailed profile of you," Cook said. "The way we go into product design, we challenge ourselves to collect as little as possible. And when we have it, we challenge ourselves to encrypt it in the end."
5. -- Aston Martin Skids in Its Trading Debut
Aston Martin debuted on the London Stock Exchange Wednesday as the first U.K.-listed automaker in nearly three decades, but the luxury brand's shares skidded amid questions over its ambitious challenge to European rivals Porsche and Ferrari.
The initial public offering of Aston Martin was priced at £19 a share, giving the Gaydon, England-based company a market value of £4.33 billion ($5.6 billion). With key investors from Italy and Kuwait, as well as other private stakeholders selling around 25% of their holdings to the market, no new cash will be raised from the listing, a factor which may have influenced the lower-than-expected debut price and the 4% decline the shares saw in early London trading.
Aston Martin's listing is the first London listing of a U.K. carmaker since Jaguar, which debuted in 1984 and left the market when it was acquired by Ford Motor Co. in 1990.