5 issues to know earlier than the inventory market opens Feb. 19, 2021

Here are the top news, trends, and analysis investors need to get their trading day started:

1. Dow futures bounce back from biggest one-day loss in February

The Wall Street sign can be seen in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York on February 16, 2021.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

US stock futures rose on Friday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq suffered their biggest one-day losses in the blistering month of February. The Dow, which broke a three-day winning streak and fell from a record high, stayed on track for a positive week that would mark its third straight. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq, both losing for three days, have been on pace for the past three weeks. The last record for these two stock benchmarks closed last Friday.

Bitcoin, which topped $ 50,000, $ 51,000 and $ 52,000 this week, hit all-time highs of $ 53,000 per unit early Friday. After Tesla and other companies recently showed support for the world’s largest cryptocurrency, big financial firms also seemed to be getting involved. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC on Thursday that she considered Bitcoin a “highly speculative asset”.

2. Finance Minister Yellen urges important incentives from Covid

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks to attendees from the local Black Chambers of Commerce during a virtual roundtable event on February 5, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

As the House intends to pass its version of President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill by the end of next week, Yellen said on CNBC that a major stimulus package is still needed to get the economy back on its feet bring. She added, “The price of too little is much higher than the price of something big. We believe the benefits will far outweigh the costs in the long run.” Democrats hope to get their bill through Congress before March 14th, when a federal unemployment allowance and key unemployment benefit programs expire.

3. Biden to Pledge Billions in Global Covid Vaccination Aid

President Joe Biden speaks about coronavirus relief during a meeting with union leaders in the Oval Office on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

Pete Marovich | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Biden is expected to announce on Friday that the U.S. will be spending $ 4 billion on international Covid vaccination efforts. He will make the pledge during his first virtual meeting as President with G7 leaders. Biden will also urge other nations to put more money into the global fight against the pandemic.

Later in the day, Biden travels to Michigan to visit Pfizer’s vaccine factory in Kalamazoo. This trip was supposed to be on Thursday but has been postponed due to the winter weather. Biden made his first domestic trip as president on Tuesday, traveling to Wisconsin to visit a CNN city hall about the coronavirus.

4. Uber has dealt a heavy blow as the UK top court rules drivers are workers

A driver uses the Uber app to drop a passenger in London.

Chris J. Ratcliffe | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Uber’s shares fell another 3% in the pre-market after the UK Supreme Court ruled Friday that the company’s drivers there should be classified as workers rather than independent contractors. The expulsion from the UK ends a nearly five-year legal battle between Uber and a group of former drivers. Uber insists that its drivers are self-employed and act more like an “agency” connecting them to passengers through an app. The company had overcome a challenge in its California home market in November when voters backed an election proposal that cemented app-based grocery delivery and the status of drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.

5. Citadel’s Ken Griffin defends controversial Wall Street practice

Ken Griffin, Founder and CEO of Citadel

Mike Blake | Reuters

During Thursday’s GameStop hearing, Citadel’s Ken Griffin defended a controversial way brokers make money, saying his firm would adjust if new regulations ban the practice. Members of Congress spent much of their time thinking about “paying for the order flow,” a practice in which a broker receives payment from a market maker such as Citadel, known as a trader, to route the order to them. This model enables Robinhood and other brokers to offer commission-free trading. “I believe paying for order flow has been a major source of innovation in the industry,” added Griffin.

– Reuters contributed to this report. Follow all developments on Wall Street in real time with CNBC Pro’s live market blog. Find out about the latest pandemics on our coronavirus blog.

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