Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Oct. 10:
1. -- U.S. Stocks Mixed Amid Growth Fears and Rising Rates
U.S. stock futures turned mixed on Wednesday, Oct. 10, as growth worries and rising interest rates dented sentiment.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10 points, futures for the S&P 500 were down 5 points, and Nasdaq futures slipped 2.75 points.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield rose early Wednesday to 3.223% after falling slightly during the previous session but not after the yield hit a fresh seven-year high.
Bond yields have been rising as recent strong U.S. economic data have investors anticipating the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at a pace faster than expected as inflation pressures mount in the world's biggest economy.
Donald Trump said Tuesday, Oct. 9, that the Fed was moving too quickly with raising rates.
"The Fed is doing what they think is necessary, but I don't like what they're doing," Trump said.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the Producer Price Index for September at 8:30 a.m. ET, and Wholesale Trade for August 10 a.m.
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2. -- Sears Hires Advisors to Prepare a Bankruptcy Filing - Report
Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) has hired M-III Partners LLC to prepare a bankruptcy filing that could come as soon as this week, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation, as the struggling retailer faces a debt payment deadline.
Boutique advisory firm M-III Partners has spent the past few weeks working on the potential filing, the people told the Journal. Sears continues to discuss other options and could still avert an in-court restructuring, the people added.
In a filing on Tuesday, Sears said it added restructuring expert Alan Carr to its executive board just days ahead of a looming debt repayment that is nearly twice the company's market value. The debt payment, due Monday, Oct. 15, amounts to $88.5 million in outstanding Sears bonds, and $44.5 million in company loans.
Sears shares tumbled almost 32% in premarket trading to 40 cents.
3. -- Amazon Scraps Recruitment Tool That Was Biased Against Women
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report scrapped a recruitment tool after machine-learning specialists uncovered that the new recruiting engine was biased against women, Reuters reported.
The company's experimental hiring tool used artificial intelligence to give job candidates scores ranging from one to five stars, people close to the effort told Reuters.
But a few years ago, the company realized its new system wasn't rating candidates for software developer jobs and other technical posts in a gender-neutral way, because Amazon's computer models were vetted applicants by observing patterns in resumes submitted to the company over a 10-year period. Most of those resumes came from men, a reflection of male dominance in the tech industry, Reuters noted.
4. -- Ackman Takes $900 Million Stake in Starbucks
Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report was flat in premarket trading on Wednesday, after gaining 2.1% on Tuesday and moving into positive territory for the year following word that activist investor Bill Ackman said he was building a stake in the coffee chain.
Ackman told Grant's Interest Rate Observer Conference in New York that his hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, now holds 15.2 million shares in the coffee chain, or $900 million. That equates to roughly 1.4% position in the world's biggest coffee chain, which he called "one of the greatest businesses in the world."
Jim Cramer, founder of TheStreet, said on CNBC Tuesday that investors shouldn't chase Starbucks stock now that Ackman has revealed his stake.
The stock has been "going up straight" since Starbucks announced in July that it was working on getting things right and bought back shares, Cramer said.
"If you come in at this level, you may end up being a little disappointed," Cramer said.
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5. -- Softbank Explores Taking Majority Stake in WeWork
The Journal story, which cited people familiar with the talks, said the investment could be as much as $20 billion, but cautioned that no deal has yet been reached and talks were continuing.
SoftBank, a Japanese multinational holding conglomerate based in Tokyo, took a 20% stake in WeWork in 2017 and reportedly was considering in June raising that stake, but at a lower level than that being reported.
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