Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Wall Street set to close first half of 2021 with solid gains
- Bed Bath & Beyond earnings take a hit from turnaround costs
- Three companies are set to make their public debuts
- ADP issues strong June private-sector jobs report
- As housing boom begins to fizzle, mortgage demand falls
1. Wall Street set to close first half of 2021 with solid gains
U.S. stock futures were flat Wednesday, one day after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq eked out record high closes, again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which gave up a gain of more than 100 points early Tuesday, finished slightly higher and remained about 1.4% away from its early May record close. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked lower Wednesday, trading around 1.46%, after better-than-expected ADP jobs data.
Going into the final day of June and the first half of the year, the S&P 500 was leading the major benchmarks with a 14.3% year-to-date gain. The Nasdaq was up 12.7% for the year. The Dow was up 12% in 2021, although it has lagged recently, tracking for a modestly monthly decline. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq advanced in June. All three benchmarks posted solid second quarter gains.
2. Bed Bath & Beyond earnings take a hit from turnaround costs
Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond bounced around in Wednesday's premarket after the retailer reported mixed fiscal first-quarter results. Sales topped estimates, but profits missed. Costs tied to the company's turnaround efforts, including marketing expenses, hurt margins. The company raised its full-year revenue outlook ahead of the key back-to-school shopping season. Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond, which saw some strength earlier this month in the meme stock trade, were up 68% in 2021, as of Tuesday's close.
3. Three companies are set to make their public debuts
Didi Global is set to begin trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange after pricing its initial public offering at $14 per share and raising $4.4 billion. That gives the China-based ride-hailing company an initial valuation of about $73 billion.
Digital ad company Taboola is set to begin trading Wednesday on the Nasdaq following its merger with ION Acquisition Corp. 1, a special purpose acquisition corporation. The SPAC transaction will generate $526 million upon closing.
Clear, No. 19 on CNBC's Disruptors 50 list this year, is set to begin trading Wednesday on the NYSE after pricing its initial public offering $31 per share and raising more than $400 million. Clear, known for its frequent fliers identification service, launched Health Pass during the Covid pandemic.
4. ADP issues strong June private-sector jobs report
ADP on Wednesday reported that jobs at U.S. companies grew by 692,000 in June. That easily beat estimates. However, the reading on private-sector positions in May, while still strong, was revised sharply lower to 886,000. During the Covid pandemic, the ADP report has not been a good indicator of what the government's monthly employment report might show. Economists expect Friday's jobs data to show that around 700,000 new nonfarm positions were created in June. The nation's unemployment rate is expected to dip to 5.7%. Weekly jobless claims are out Thursday.
5. As housing boom begins to fizzle, mortgage demand falls
High home prices are finally starting to take some of the fizz out of the Covid-induced housing boom. Mortgage demand fell 6.9% for the week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. That's the lowest level in almost a year and a half. Mortgage applications to purchase a home dropped 5% for the week and 17% annually. That's the slowest pace since the start of May 2020, when lockdowns were in full force. Applications to refinance sank 8% for the week and 15% annually.