Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Dow set for steady open after fall from previous record
- Jamie Dimon's annual letter offers upbeat view on markets, economy
- Morgan Stanley sold $5 billion in Archegos stock before massive fire sale
- Jeff Bezos supports corporate tax hike to help pay for infrastructure
- Biden moves up deadline for states to open Covid shots to all U.S. adults
1. Dow set for steady open after fall from previous record
U.S. stock futures were steady Wednesday, one day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 fell from record high closes as the recent rally driven by signs of a strong economic rebound from the depths of the Covid pandemic took a pause. The Nasdaq also broke a multiday win streak with a small loss, though the tech-heavy index remained about 2.8% away from its February record close. Bond yields continued to drop from recent 14 month highs, easing fears of rising inflation. The 10-year Treasury yield early Wednesday was trading under 1.7%. The Federal Reserve is set to release minutes from its March monetary policy meeting at 2 p.m. ET.
2. Jamie Dimon's annual letter offers upbeat view on markets, economy
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon sees strong growth for the U.S. economy in the near term, thanks to the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic that has left many consumers flush with savings, according to his annual shareholder letter made public Wednesday. While calling stock market valuations "quite high," he said a multiyear boom may justify current levels, because markets are pricing in economic growth and excess savings making their ways into equities. While bullish on the economy's immediate future, Dimon said there are serious challenges ahead for the U.S., thanks to political and societal dysfunction.
3. Morgan Stanley sold $5 billion in Archegos stock before massive fire sale
The night before the Archegos Capital story burst into public view late last month, the fund's biggest prime broker quietly unloaded some of its risky positions, people with knowledge of the trades told CNBC. Morgan Stanley sold about $5 billion in shares from Archegos' doomed bets on U.S. media and Chinese tech names to a small group of hedge funds late on March 25, according to the people, who requested anonymity to speak frankly about the transaction. Some of the clients felt betrayed by Morgan Stanley because they didn't receive that crucial context, according to one of the people familiar with the trades.
4. Jeff Bezos supports corporate tax hike to help pay for infrastructure
Jeff Bezos voiced support for raising the U.S. corporate tax rate to help pay for infrastructure spending. But the Amazon founder on Tuesday stopped short of saying he supports President Joe Biden's plan for the increase. Bezos' support for a tax hike on companies is notable, given that Amazon has faced scrutiny over its own tax record, including from Biden. Last May, while still a Democratic presidential candidate, Biden told CNBC that Amazon "should start paying their taxes."
5. Biden moves up deadline for states to open Covid shots to all U.S. adults
Biden is urging states to open Covid vaccine appointments to all U.S. adults by April 19, moving up his original deadline by nearly two weeks. Biden urged Americans to continue to practice pandemic safety measures, saying the U.S. isn't "at the finish line yet." The president also said the U.S. reached 150 million shots administered within his first 75 days in office. He's pushing to have 200 million does in arms within his first 100 days in office.
— Get the latest on the pandemic with CNBC's coronavirus blog.
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