Dow futures rose modestly Friday, a day after the 30-stock average gained nearly 1% and closed above 34,000 for the first time ever. The S&P 500 increased 1.1% to another record close. The Nasdaq had the best day, jumping 1.3% and finishing 0.4% away from its February closing record. Tech stocks rallied Thursday as the 10-year Treasury yield slipped below 1.6%. (CNBC)
* 'Roaring Kitty' stands to rake in millions on his GameStop options bet Friday (CNBC)
* Dogecoin spikes 300% in a week, stoking fears of a cryptocurrency bubble (CNBC)
Morgan Stanley (MS) this morning reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue in the first quarter on strong bond trading results, following a week of stellar quarterly results to by financial firms. (CNBC)
* PNC Financial dropped despite beat on earnings, revenue (Press Release)
* Bank of New York Mellon shares rose after bank earnings, revenue beat (Press Release)
Blowout March retail sales Thursday helped lift stocks and Friday, investors get a look at the red-hot residential real estate market at 8:30 a.m. ET. Housing starts in March are expected to surge 14% after February's 10.3% drop. Permits are seen rising 4% after a 10.8% decline in February. (CNBC)
* 'We need at least one more check' the case for a fourth stimulus check (CNBC)
* Cruise line CEOs press White House Covid team to resume sailings, sources say (CNBC)
* American Eagle Outfitters CEO sees post-Covid 'Roaring 20s' for malls (CNBC)
China reported first-quarter gross domestic product a touch below expectations as industrial production disappointed but retail sales beat estimates. GDP soared 18.3% in Q1 from a year earlier. In the first quarter of 2020, the economy there shrank by 6.8% during the height of the domestic Covid outbreak. (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
The World Health Organization chief said Friday that an alarming trend of rising Covid cases has resulted in infections around the world now approaching their highest level ever. In the U.S., cases per week are well off their all-time highs but consistent with levels seen during the summer surge. (CNBC)
Pfizer (PFE) CEO Albert Bourla said people will likely need a booster dose of a Covid vaccine within 12 months of getting fully vaccinated. Bourla also said it's possible that yearly vaccinations against the coronavirus will also be necessary. (CNBC)
* Eli Lilly asks FDA to revoke authorization for Covid drug due to new variants (Reuters)
* Chauvin skips testifying as trial in George Floyd death nears end (AP)
(MG note: Batten down the hatches)
The National Football League is officially open for sports betting, announcing sportsbook partnerships with top companies Caesars (CZR), FanDuel, and DraftKings (DKNG). The agreements allow the sports betting firms to use NFL intellectual property and use its trademarks for betting promotions. (CNBC)
Hedge fund manager David Einhorn warned of dangers for retail investors that he sees in the stock market, and one of his main examples was a tiny New Jersey deli with a market cap of over $100 million. The Paulsboro, New Jersey-based store is the sole location for Hometown International (HWIN), with only $35,748 in sales in the last two years combined, according to securities filings.
* NJ high school wrestling coach is CEO of $100 million firm that owns the deli (CNBC)
Shares of newly public cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (COIN) dipped in premarket trading on Friday. The weakness came despite another vote of confidence from popular investor Cathie Wood, whose Ark Invest purchased about $110 million of the stock on Thursday. (Reuters)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Sunrun (RUN): Shares of the residential solar company jumped 3% after Simmons Energy upgraded the stock to an "overweight" rating. In a note to clients, the firm said the company has a strong growth story ahead, and that the recent weakness presents an attractive buying opportunity.
Cisco (CSCO): Cisco shares rose 1.1% in premarket trading Friday after Wolfe Research upgraded the equity to "outperform." Analyst Jeff Kvaal wrote that "Strong IT spending should prove a tailwind to Cisco estimates" through fiscal year 2022 and said shares should climb to $63, representing a 22% upside from Thursday's close.
Comcast (CMCSA): Shares of Comcast rose 1.2% before the opening bell after Raymond James upgraded the stock to an "outperform" rating and told clients it expects strong first-quarter earnings results from the media giant. "We believe there is future NBCU upside from HSD strength, Peacock sub growth, improved theatrical revenue, and phased theme park reopenings," wrote analyst Frank Louthan.
Simon Property Group (SPG): Shares of the real estate company rose in premarket trading after Jefferies upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold." The Wall Street firm said "retailer investments, pent-up consumer demand, and lower bad debt are positive catalysts" for the mall owner.
United Airlines (UAL): Shares of the United Airlines popped in premarket trading following an upgrade to "buy" from "hold" from Argus. The Wall Street firm said it likes the airline's plans to limit capacity, reduce structural costs by $2 billion, and restore margins to pre-pandemic levels.
Matthew J. Belvedere