Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, March 13:
1. -- Stocks Are Mixed as Boeing Remains Under Pressure
U.S. stock futures pointed to a mixed start for Wall Street on Wednesday, March 13, as Boeing (BA) - Get Report shares continued to come under pressure and as investors monitored the latest developments surrounding the U.K.'s exit from the European Union.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 11 points, futures for the S&P 500 were up 2.25 points, and Nasdaq futures rose 6.50 points.
Stocks on Tuesday finished mostly higher, but the Dow declined after Boeing fell again, capping the stock's biggest two-day decline in nearly 10 years after the European Union became the latest aviation authority to ground the aerospace giant's 737 MAX 8 jet following Sunday's deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it wouldn't ground Boeing's 737 MAX 8, saying a review had shown "no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft.
"Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action. In the course of our urgent review of data on the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, if any issues affecting the continued airworthiness of the aircraft are identified, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action," the agency said on its website.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes Durable Goods Orders for January at 8:30 a.m. ET, the Producer Price Index for February at 8:30 a.m., Construction Spending for January at 10 a.m., and Oil Inventories for the week ended March 8, at 10:30 a.m.
2. -- Theresa May Fails Again in Passing Her Brexit Deal
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May suffered another humiliating Parliamentary defeat for her controversial Brexit deal, raising new questions over both the fate of her leadership and Britain's impending exit from the European Union.
Lawmakers on Tuesday rejected her amended withdrawal agreement by a vote of 391-242 even after she extracted 11th-hour concessions from European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The defeat of her deal, which would have seen the U.K exit the European Union with broad agreements on trade and future political ties, raises both the risk of a "hard Brexit" on March 29 and the chances of either a second referendum or a general election in the coming months.
May said she would allow a so-called "free vote," which would release MPs from voting along party lines, on whether Britain should leave the EU without a deal. If that is defeated, she will hold a third vote asking lawmakers if they wish to delay that deadline and seek more time for negotiations from the European Union.
"This is an issue of grave importance for the future of our country," May told lawmakers immediately following the vote. "Just like the referendum there are strongly held and equally legitimate views on both sides. For that reason, I can confirm that this will be a free vote on this side of the House."
3. -- Tesla Cuts 150 From Global Recruiting Team
The job cuts amount to about a third of the recruiting staff, according to Electrek.
The layoffs are just the latest cost-savings move by the electric carmaker. Earlier this week, Tesla said it would be raising prices prices by 3% and keeping more stores open than it had announced in late February.
"Last month, we announced that we would be winding down many of our stores and moving to online-only sales in order to pass the savings along to our customers," Tesla said in the post on its website.
Because it will be "keeping significantly more stores open," Tesla said it would need to raise vehicle prices by about 3% on average worldwide. "In other words, we will only close about half as many stores, but the cost savings are therefore only about half," Tesla said.
Tesla shares fell 0.6% in premarket trading on Wednesday.
4. -- Kraft Heinz Examines Sale of Breakstone's Brand - Report
Kraft Heinz (KHC) - Get Report was up 0.3% in premarket trading Wednesday after a report said the food industry giant had hired a bank to look at a possible sale of its Breakstone's brand.
Kraft Heinz has hired the Royal Bank of Canada to explore options, including a possible sale, of its Breakstone's sour cream and cottage cheese unit, CNBC reported, citing people familiar with the situation.
Breakstone's could fetch $400 million, according to the report, with the possible sale coming as the dairy industry grapples with declining revenue.
A spokesman for Kraft Heinz declined to comment.
It wouldn't be the first move by the Pittsburgh-based food conglomerate, which announced a $15.4 billion write-down in February to slim down its portfolio.
In January, Kraft Heinz closed a $625 million deal to sell several brands targeted at the Indian market to Zydus Wellness.
5. -- Rite Aid Axes CEO Standley in Purge of Leadership Staff
Rite Aid (RAD) - Get Report jumped 19.4% in premarket trading Wednesday to 81 cents after the drugstore chain said it put in place a leadership transition plan that includes the resignation of CEO John Standley.
Rite Aid said it would cut about 400 full-time positions, or more than 20% of its corporate positions at the company's headquarters and "across the field organization."
The company expects to record a restructuring charge of about $38 million and hopes to save annually about $55 million with the reorganization.
Standley will remain CEO until a successor is named.
Chief Operating Officer Kermit Crawford, Chief Financial Officer Darren Kast and Derek Griffith, executive vice president of store operations, also will be departing under the transition plan.
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