Here are the top news, trends, and analysis investors need to get their trading day started:
1. Stocks set to a lower open after the Dow closed on another record
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 fell on Wednesday, although Wall Street remained on track for its best monthly performance since November. In a mixed session on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with another record. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq broke their two-day winning streak with small losses and fell from the record closings of the previous session.
On Wednesday’s economic calendar, the Department of Commerce’s January retail sales report showed a 5.3% increase, defeating estimates of a 1.2% increase. A month after Congress approved an additional $ 900 billion Covid stimulus package on top of the $ 2.2 trillion it approved in early 2020, buyers were armed with $ 600 checks to give them a Variety of goods bought.
Regardless of this, the labor ministry’s producer price index rose by 1.3% in January, again well above the estimates that had called for an increase of 0.4%.
Stock futures fell on Wednesday and 10-year government bond yields rose over 1.3% after strong retail sales and the PPI in January heightened fears of possible inflation during the post-Covid economic recovery.
2. Bitcoin hits a new high, topping $ 51,000 for the first time
Omar Marques | LightRocket | Getty Images
Bitcoin cracked $ 51,000 to hit a new all-time high on Wednesday. Big financial companies seem to be getting excited about Bitcoin after Tesla and other companies showed support for the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s recent rally recalls its massive surge to nearly $ 20,000 in 2017, which was followed by an 80% plunge the following year. However, the world’s largest cryptocurrency has since seen a violent comeback, more than quadrupling in 2020 and gaining over 70% this year.
3. Here are Warren Buffett-led Berkshire stock moves for the past quarter
Gerry Miller | CNBC
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought $ 4.1 billion in Chevron and $ 8.6 billion in Verizon shares in the fourth quarter, according to the conglomerate’s most recent 13-F filing with the SEC . Berkshire also sold its stakes in drug companies Pfizer and JPMorgan Chase, while reducing its position in Wells Fargo. Apple is still the largest holding, but Berkshire has further scaled back its lucrative position in the company, slashing it by about 6%.
4. Elon Musk’s SpaceX valuation jumps to around $ 74 billion
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stands at the base of a prototype Starship rocket at the company’s facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
Steve Jurvetson on flickr
SpaceX closed another large round of equity financing last week for $ 850 million, the financing people told CNBC. The company’s valuation rose 60% from the previous round in August to around $ 74 billion. Elon Musk, who also co-founded Tesla, saw insiders and existing investors in his commercial space company selling an additional $ 750 million in a secondary transaction, one respondent said. SpaceX did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
5. Millions in Texas are still without power as new storms strike
Pike Electric Service Trucks line up after a snow storm in Fort Worth, Texas on February 16, 2021. Winter Storm Uri has historically brought cold weather and power outages to Texas as storms with a mixture of freezing temperatures and precipitation swept across 26 states.
Ron Jenkins | Getty Images
Millions of Texas residents were still in the dark Wednesday with no indication of when their service might return when another winter storm hit the southern portion of the nation. A total of 2 to 3 million customers in the US energy capital were without electricity two days after the historic snowfall, and the single-digit temperatures led to an increase in the demand for electricity for heating.
The wholesale prices for electricity and natural gas have risen in the last few days. However, natural gas futures fell early Wednesday. U.S. oil prices continued their spike on Wednesday, gaining more than 1%, rising to over $ 61 a barrel, a level not seen since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
– The Associated Press 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.