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What to Watch Today: Stocks to Start New Month Higher After Late-February Selloff

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BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures started the new month moving sharply higher Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq indicated to rise more than 1% each, trying to put a dent in the late February decline. While rapidly rising bond yields pressured stocks last week, the 10-year Treasury yield dropped Monday from a one-year high, trading around 1.43%. (CNBC)

The Dow lost 1.8% and the S&P 500 fell nearly 2.5% for the week. The Nasdaq took the brunt of the tech sell-off, with a weekly loss of 4.9%. February's strong start, however, was enough to carry the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq higher by nearly 3.2%, 2.6% and almost 1%, respectively, for the month. (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, the Institute for Supply Management releases its manufacturing index for February at 10 a.m. ET. At the same time, the government issues its January report on construction spending. 3D Systems (DDD), Novavax (NVAX) and Zoom Video (ZM) are out with quarterly numbers after today's closing bell. (CNBC)

Activist investor Jeff Ubben will join Exxon Mobil's board of directors, sources told CNBC's David Faber. Mike Angelakis, chairman and CEO of Atairos and former CFO of Comcast, is also joining the board, sources said. The moves come as Exxon has faced pressure from shareholders to reshuffle its board due to the company's languishing stock price. Exxon jumped 4% during premarket trading.

IN THE NEWS TODAY

The CDC has signed off on Johnson & Johnson's one-shot Covid-19 vaccine for people 18 years and older as the federal government prepares to ship out millions of doses this week. The FDA gave J&J's vaccine, which demonstrated 72% efficacy in the U.S., emergency use authorization Saturday. (CNBC)

While the two other vaccines cleared in the U.S. — two-shot regimes from Pfizer and Moderna — each showed over 90% efficacy, White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday all three are "really quite good." He told NBC's "Meet the Press" that Americans should take whatever vaccine they can get. (CNBC)

* Covid vaccine for elementary school children likely coming early next year (CNBC)

AstraZeneca (AZN) sold its stake in Moderna (MRNA) for more than $1 billion, according to the London Times. The paper said the sale occurred after Moderna shares soared following approval of its Covid-19 vaccine, although the exact timing was unclear. (Reuters)

The House early Saturday approved a $1.9 trillion Covid economic stimulus bill championed by President Joe Biden. The measure goes to the Senate, where a provision to raise the federal minimum wage will likely be stripped out. But as NBC News points out, the rest of the package appeared to be good shape as Democrats aim to use a process that doesn't require Republican support. (NBC News)

* Fraud overwhelms pandemic-related unemployment programs (AP)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., plans to introduce legislation Monday to tax the net-worth of the richest Americans. The proposal, which mirrors the wealth tax Warren pushed during the 2020 presidential primary race, is aimed at persuading Biden and other Democrats to fund new federal spending programs. (NY Times)

* IRS got 35 million tax returns in a week as Americans race to get refunds (CNBC)

Biden is planning a virtual meeting Monday with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a chance for the two leaders to talk more fully about immigration, confronting the coronavirus and how to cooperate on economic and national security issues. (AP)

Donald Trump slammed President Joe Biden and sought to retain his grasp on the Republican Party's future Sunday during his first major political address since departing the White House last month, at one point teasing a possible bid in 2024. (CNBC)

* New York AG to oversee investigation into Cuomo sexual harassment allegations (CNBC)
* Ex-French President Sarkozy faces jail sentence, denies corruption pact (AP)

Warren Buffett, the 90-year-old "Oracle of Omaha," remains a firm believer in the U.S., saying in Saturday's release of his closely watched Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder letter to "never bet against America." On the markets, Buffett said ultralow interest rates around the world diminished the appeal of bonds. (CNBC)

As Covid-fallout roiled markets during 2020, Buffett said in his letter that Berkshire bought back around $9 billion worth of shares in the fourth quarter, bringing last year's total repurchases to a record $24.7 billion. Apple still ranks as the conglomerate's biggest common stock investment. (CNBC)

* Small-launch leader Rocket Lab going public via SPAC (CNBC)
* Satellite data company Spire going public via SPAC (CNBC)
* GM's electric vehicle plans begin to take shape with new Chevy Bolts (CNBC)

Walmart (WMT) dropped its $35 minimum charge for its two-hour express delivery service. However, the $35 minimum will still apply for regularly delivery, curbside pickup and Walmart+ delivery services. Dow stock Walmart rose 1% in the premarket. (BusinessWire)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV): The timeshare company posted a wider-than-expected loss for its latest quarter, while revenue was also below Wall Street forecasts. Hilton Grand Vacations said the pandemic has created a challenging environment but said 85% of its properties are now open and operating. Its shares fell 2.3% in premarket trading.

NRG Energy (NRG): The energy provider reported better-than-expected profit and revenue for its latest quarter, and also said the financial impact of the extreme weather in Texas is expected to be within NRG's current guidance range. The company's shares jumped 5.5% in the premarket.

Perrigo (PRGO): Perrigo shares initially jumped 4.1% in premarket action after the drugmaker announced a deal to sell its Generic Rx Pharmaceuticals business to private-equity firm Altaris Capital for $1.55 billion in cash and other considerations. The gains disappeared, however, after Perrigo reported lower-than-expected earnings for its latest quarter as sales fell.

Twitter (TWTR): Twitter rose 1% in premarket trading after it announced its intention to sell $1.25 billion in convertible notes due in 2026, subject to market conditions.

L3Harris Technologies (LHX): The defense contractor struck a deal to sell its military training division to Canadian aerospace company CAE (CAE) for $1.05 billion. The deal will enhance CAE's defense business.

Logitech (LOGI): Logitech shares fell 1.5% premarket after it said operating income for fiscal 2022 would be between $750 million and $800 million, down from the $1.1 billion it expects to report for fiscal 2021. Logitech had seen a boom in demand for devices like computer mice and keyboards due to the pandemic, with more people working and attending school from home.

Twilio (TWLO): Twilio is in talks to invest up to $750 million in messaging company Syniverse Technologies, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Wall Street Journal. They said that the expected investment by the cloud communications company would value Syniverse, currently owned by private-equity firm Carlyle Group (CG), at $2 billion to $3 billion. Twilio rose 2.3% in premarket action.

Citigroup (C): Citigroup shares rose 2.1% in premarket trading as Jane Fraser takes over as Chief Executive Officer of the bank today, becoming the first woman to run a major U.S. bank.

WATERCOOLER

The biggest winners of last night's 78th Golden Globes were "Nomadland" for best drama and "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" for best comedy or musical. On the TV side, "Schitt's Creek," "Queen's Gambit" and "The Crown" dominated across acting and best series categories. Netflix (NFLX) won 10 awards, the most of any studio. (CNBC)

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