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What to Watch Today: Dow Futures Drop as History Signals a Rough Rest of September

Source: NYSE

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures fell Friday, marking a key date, Sept. 17, that has historically ushered in a rough patch for the market in an already traditionally tough month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined Thursday, though it ended way above session lows. The S&P 500 dipped as well, while the Nasdaq bucked the trend and rose slightly. (CNBC)

Despite the September angst, all three benchmarks were tracking for weekly gains. Ahead of Friday's open, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq weren't too far from their recent record closes — about 2.5%, 1.4%, and 1.3% away respectively. (CNBC)

Coinciding with seasonal factors stacked against Wall Street, it's also "quadruple witching" Friday, the simultaneous expiration of stock options, index options, stock futures and index futures. The Fed holds its policy meeting next week, leaving investors already on edge this month to read the tea leaves on tapering. (CNBC)

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has called for a review of the central bank's ethics rules for appropriate financial activities after disclosures that several senior Fed officials held significant investments and others made multimillion-dollar stock trades in 2020. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

A key part of President Joe Biden's plan to combat Covid could be in jeopardy as an FDA vaccine advisory committee meets Friday to debate and vote on Pfizer's application to offer vaccine booster shots to the general public. The vote could halt the Biden administration's already announced plan to start distributing boosters next week. (CNBC)

* Florida surpasses 50,000 Covid deaths after battling delta wave (AP)
* Delta variant so contagious it 'raises the bar' for Covid vaccines, Moderna says (CNBC)

Biden convenes world leaders Friday for a discussion about efforts to tackle climate change, seeking to build momentum ahead of an international summit on global warming later this year. Biden has been repeatedly emphasizing climate change, a top domestic and global priority, in recent weeks following devastating floods and wildfires in the U.S. (Reuters)

The White House is warning state and local governments about severe cuts to disaster relief, Medicaid, infrastructure grants. school money and other programs if Congress fails to raise the U.S. debt limit. The Treasury Department has been using extraordinary measures to keep the government federal running. (AP)

* Dems look to extend the expanded monthly child tax credit payments through 2025 (CNBC)

Former President Donald Trump, who was impeached for inciting the Capitol riot, condemned the criminal prosecution of hundreds of his supporters who were part of the Jan. 6 mob. Trump's came as police in Washington prepared for Saturday's planned "Justice for J6" rally outside the Capitol, which is being held to support the defendants. (CNBC)

The Los Angeles Clippers, owned by ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, announced Friday a sponsorship deal with financial software company Intuit, which will hold title rights to the team's new $1.2 billion arena, scheduled to open in Inglewood in 2024. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Soccer team operator Manchester United (MANU) reported a quarterly loss that was about 6% narrower than what it lost a year ago amid a roughly 16% increase in revenue. Manchester United is not providing full-year revenue or earnings guidance for fiscal 2022 due to uncertainty around Covid.

Invesco (IVZ) is in talks to merge with State Street's (STT) asset management unit, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to the Wall Street Journal. Those sources said a deal is not imminent and might not happen at all. Invesco shares surged 6.5% in the premarket, while State Street edged up 0.6%.

Softbank's Vision Fund sold 57 million shares of South Korean online retailer Coupang (CPNG) for nearly about $1.7 billion, according to an SEC filing.

Unum (UNM) is launching a new digital verification tool designed to help companies manage vaccine mandates. The insurer's product allows workers to report vaccination status and upload documentation as well as helping companies manage exemptions.

Eli Lilly (LLY) won FDA approval for expansion of the emergency use authorization for its Covid treatment. The treatment can now be used in patients who could have a high risk of infection after being exposed to someone with Covid.

General Motors (GM) plans to extend downtime at seven North American factories as the worldwide semiconductor shortage continues to crimp production.

U.S. Steel (X) is planning to build a new U.S. steel mill, with construction beginning next year and production planned to kick off in 2024. The move comes amid booming demand for steel as well as prices that have roughly quadrupled since the summer of 2020. Shares fell 2.1% in the premarket.

Zumiez (ZUMZ) rose 1% in premarket trading after the streetwear and sports apparel company announced a $150 million stock buyback program.

Diamondback Energy (FANG) announced an accelerated capital return plan and approved a $2 billion stock buyback. Diamondback's stock rallied 5% in premarket trading.

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