ECONOMY

Bitcoin Drops Below $40,000, Target’s Shares Gain: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens Today

Here’s what we’re watching ahead of Wednesday’s opening bell.

  • U.S. stock futures fell, signaling that the major indexes will extend losses as investors await minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary-policy meeting.
  • Futures for the S&P 500 declined 1.3% and contracts for the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.1%. Futures on the Nasdaq-100 fell 1.8%, suggesting technology stocks will be among the biggest losers when markets open. Read our full market wrap here.
  • Bitcoin’s dollar value fell to as low as $36,219.49 on Wednesday, its lowest level since February, according to CoinDesk. Bitcoin’s recent price fall accelerated after three Chinese entities published a statement that financial institutions should not accept virtual currencies for payment or provide services using them.
  • Joke cryptocurrency dogecoin was also plunging early Wednesday, down more than 33% according to Coindesk.
What’s Coming Up
Market Movers to Watch
  • Target


    TGT 4.01%

    shares gained 2.4% premarket after the retailer reported first-quarter adjusted earnings that reached an all-time high, blowing past Street estimates on both profit and sales.

  • Lowe’s


    LOW -1.64%

    shares dropped 2.7% premarket. The home-improvement retailer reported quarterly results, with sales and same-store sales that rose above expectations. But even its upbeat outlook left investors unimpressed.

  • Take-Two Interactive


    TTWO 3.23%

    shares added 2.9% ahead of the bell. The videogame publisher reported a big earnings beat for the recent quarter.

  • Square


    SQ -3.11%

    shares slid 5.2% premarket. The payments-technology company announced the pricing on a $2 billion offering of senior notes.

  • KKR


    KKR -1.55%

    shares slipped 1.4% premarket. The New York private-equity firm agreed to buy U.K.-listed infrastructure investor and manager John Laing Group for $2.84 billion in cash.

Bitcoin prices dropped below $40,000 on Wednesday.



Photo:

dado ruvic/Reuters

Market Facts
  • The British pound on Tuesday hit a new 52-week high against the U.S. dollar, when it gained 0.35% to trade at $1.4188.
  • Walmart shares gained almost 3% Tuesday morning, which was notable given that its share price had dropped after every earnings call in the previous four consecutive quarters. Yet Walmart still trades more cheaply than peers at 0.7 times forward sales, compared with 0.9 times for Costco and 1.1 times for Target, according to FactSet.
  • On this day in 1568, one of the earliest known junk bonds was issued, as the Russia Co. borrowed 4,000 pounds, 8 shillings, and 10 pence from the British exchequer. The loan was priced to yield 13.5%, and the company had to repay it not with cash, but with hundreds of tons of cables and rope—making it one of the earliest “asset-backed” loans as well.
Chart of the Day
  • This year has seen a slew of companies in Europe putting forward share repurchase programs, a trend that signals growing confidence among corporate leaders and marks a pivot in strategy in a region that has traditionally favored dividends.
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