10 things you need to know before the opening bell

The New York Stock Exchange

Here’s what you need to know before the markets open.

1. Short-sellers have raked in more than $1.2 billion on Wirecard this week after the company’s dramatic share price plunge. Hedge funds have made more than $1 billion of profits in the past week as a result of betting against the scandal-ridden fintech firm Wirecard following a tumultuous week in which it filed for insolvency and its former CEO was arrested.

2. A UCLA economist says it will take until early 2023 to restore the US economy and will need ‘all the king’s horses and all the king’s men.’ The US economy faces a rough and gradual comeback from its massive pandemic-induced decline, according to UCLA Anderson’s latest economic outlook.

3. ‘The market is probably a little ahead of itself’: BlackRock CEO Larry Fink warns investors are downplaying the pandemic threat. Investors are shrugging off a resurgence of coronavirus cases and underestimating the pandemic’s financial fallout, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said on Thursday, according to CNBC.

4. Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo slump in pre-market trading after the Fed caps dividends and bans buybacks. Bank stocks dropped in pre-market trading on Friday after the Federal Reserve announced fresh restrictions on dividends and share buybacks on Thursday.

5. US lenders, businesses brace for disclosure on small business pandemic aid. Americans will soon get a first full look at which businesses received $515 billion of taxpayer funds when the government, after initial resistance by President Donald Trump’s administration, releases borrower data for one of its highest-profile pandemic aid efforts.

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6. Pharma giant Sanofi is reportedly considering up to 1,680 job cuts in Europe. Sanofi is considering cutting up to 1,680 jobs in Europe, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday, as the French drugmaker outlined plans to reduce costs to staff representatives.

7. Amazon has reportedly bought self-driving-car startup Zoox for more than $1 billion. Amazon has reportedly bought self-driving taxi firm Zoox for more than $1 billion.

8. Stocks are mostly up. Stocks in Europe and Asia are up but some US futures are down.

9. Earnings coming in. China Gas Holdings 4Q 2020 earnings is due.

10. Economic data releases today. The US Baker Hughes Oil Rig count is due and the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is due.

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Source:: Business Insider


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