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What to Watch Today: Stocks Set for Gains Following Strong March Jobs Report

Source: CNBC

BY THE NUMBERS

Stock futures pointed to a higher open, in a delayed reaction to Friday's better-than-expected March jobs report. Dow futures implied an opening gain of roughly 250 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were both solidly in the green. (CNBC)

The Dow and S&P 500 are on track to open at record intraday highs, following the S&P 500's record close Thursday ahead of the long holiday weekend. Last week was notable for the reemergence of the tech sector, which led all S&P groups and helped the Nasdaq to its first weekly gain in three weeks.  The S&P 500's Thursday close was its 16th record close of 2021 and its first over the 4,000 mark.

The Institute for Supply Management is out with its nonmanufacturing index for March at 10 a.m. ET, with the measure of the U.S. services economy expected to rise to 59.2 from February's 55.3.  At the same time, the government issues February factory orders, which are seen increasing by 0.3% after a 2.6% jump in January. There are no earnings reports of note out either this morning or after this afternoon's closing bell.

Shares of Tesla (TSLA) rose by over 7% in early trading, as investors reacted positively to first-quarter vehicle production and delivery figures. Tesla delivered 184,800 vehicles, compared with expectations of around 168,000 vehicles, according to FactSet estimates. (CNBC)

GameStop (GME) shares fell almost 10% in premarket trading after the company said it may sell up to 3.5 million additional shares. The video-game retailer's decision to possibly sell more stock would allow it to take advantage of its massive surge from a Reddit-fueled trading boom that began in January. (Reuters)

IN THE NEWS

The pace of Covid vaccinations in the U.S. continues to pick up, with the weekly average of new shots per day rising above 3 million, according to data compiled by the CDC. On Saturday, a record high of 4.1 million new doses were given. The public-health agency reported Sunday another 3.4 million Covid shots were administered. About 18.5% of Americans are now fully vaccinated. (CNBC)

* UK considers mass testing as it takes next steps out of lockdown (AP)
* Norwegian Cruise surges after plan submitted to CDC to resume U.S. cruises in July (MarketWatch)

The U.S. government has put Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) in control of a manufacturing plant in Baltimore that ruined 15 million doses of the company's Covid vaccine. British drugmaker AstraZeneca (AZN) is no longer allowed to use the facility, which belongs to Emergent BioSolutions (EBS), a senior health official told Reuters. (Reuters)

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., called on President Joe Biden to significantly reduce the price and scale of his infrastructure program, suggesting that taking it from over $2 trillion to roughly $615 billion could help it pass through both chambers of Congress. Blunt's comments Sunday on Fox News represented the latest sign of Republican opposition to Biden's wide-ranging pan. The Democrat unveiled his proposal last week. (CNBC)

* New to DC, Buttigieg looks to build bridges with Biden plan (Associated Press)
* Yellen to push for global minimum tax on corporations (CNBC)

U.S. companies are facing increased pressure to oppose GOP-backed election legislation in Georgia and other states like Texas that critics contend restrict voting access. Major League Baseball is moving its all-star game out of Atlanta, where it was supposed to be played this summer, after Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the election overhaul bill late last month. (CNBC)

* Corporations gave over $50 million to voting restriction backers (Associated Press)

Amazon (AMZN) has issued an apology to a Democratic congressman, Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, after the e-commerce giant dismissed his claim that its delivery drivers sometimes are forced to urinate in bottles due to the demands of the job. Amazon said its response on Twitter to Pocan was "incorrect," while adding it wanted to "look for solutions" for what it called an "industry-wide" problem. (CNBC)

* Waymo CEO departure comes after tenure filled with milestones, hurdles and hype (CNBC)

LG Electronics said it plans to leave the loss-making mobile phone business by the end of July, shifting its focus instead on electric vehicles components, robotics and other products and services. The South Korean company has lost market share to Chinese and other competitors in recent years after it had at one time been the third-largest maker of mobile phones. (Reuters)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Pioneer Natural (PXD) struck a deal to buy privately held rival shale producer DoublePoint Energy for about $6.4 billion, continuing the consolidation trend in the shale industry.

Moderna (MRNA) received FDA approval to fill Covid vaccine vials with up to 15 doses, up from the previous 10 doses. Moderna said it expects to begin shipping the 15-dose vials within a few weeks.

Morgan Stanley (MS) said it would increase its dividend as soon as restrictions are lifted by the Federal Reserve. The Fed is scheduled to hold the next round of bank stress tests in June.

Planet Fitness (PLNT) is planning to add up to 100 new locations in the coming fiscal year, adding to its current total of more than 2,100. CFO Tom Fitzgerald told the Wall Street Journal the company also wants to boost investment in its app.

Tribune Co. (TPCO) received a $680 million takeover bid – worth $16.50 per share – from Choice Hotels Chairman Stewart Bainum and Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss. That tops a $635 million deal that the newspaper publisher had previously agreed to with hedge fund Alden Global Capital.

Pinterest (PINS) is in talks to buy photo app company VSCO, according to the New York Times. A potential deal price could not be determined, but VSCO was most recently valued at $550 million.

WATERCOOLER

Stanford defeated Arizona, 54-53, to win the NCAA women's basketball tournament Sunday, the school's first national title since 1992. A last-second, game-winning shot attempt from Arizona star Aari McDonald was unsuccessful. The men's basketball championship is scheduled for tonight, with undefeated Gonzaga set to take on fellow No. 1 seed Baylor. (AP)

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