BY THE NUMBERS
IN THE NEWS TODAY
President Joe Biden is expected to unveil a series of executive actions on Thursday addressing gun violence after a spate of mass shootings. While delivering his first major steps to crack down on firearms since taking office, the president is also set to nominate gun-control advocate and ex-federal agent David Chipman as ATF director, according to senior Biden administration officials. (AP)
Biden said he’s willing to negotiate on a proposed corporate tax rate hike to 28% to help pay for his more than $2 trillion infrastructure plan. “I’m willing to listen,” the president said. However, Biden faces pressure from Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who said he’s opposed to a process that makes it easier to pass bills without GOP support. (CNBC & Reuters)
* Treasury says Biden tax plan would recapture $2 trillion in corporate profits from overseas (CNBC)
Sen. Sherrod Brown, chairman of the powerful Senate Banking Committee, is taking aim at three banking giants’ ties to Archegos Capital after the fund’s recent losses blitzed the market. The Ohio Democrat made inquiries in letters to Goldman Sachs (GS), Nomura (NMR) and Credit Suisse (CS). (CNBC)
Ballot counting in a high-stakes vote over whether to unionize one of Amazon‘s Alabama warehouses could begin as soon as Thursday. More than 3,200 votes were cast, a turnout rate of roughly 55%, which is higher than what the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union initially estimated. (CNBC)
* Tesla refunds customers for duplicate charges after outcry (CNBC)
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said hospitals are seeing more and more younger adults with severe Covid-19. “Data suggests this is all happening as we are seeing increasing prevalence of variants, with 52 jurisdictions now reporting cases of variants of concern,” Walensky said. (CNBC)
* Covid vaccine maker CureVac hopes shot will get EU approval in June (CNBC)
* UK advises limiting AstraZeneca in under-30s amid clot worry (AP)
Emergent BioSolutions (EBS) was the subject of a warning by a top federal health official last June, according to a New York Times report. The official warned of quality control and other issues at the contract manufacturer, which recently had to dispose of millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) Covid-19 vaccine because of contamination.
Avelo is a low-cost carrier based in Burbank, Calif., that will start flying in late April to eleven airports and markets in the western U.S., where there is little, if any, direct competition. With demand for air travel growing quickly as the U.S. reopens from the pandemic, CEO Andrew Levy told CNBC he thinks it’s the perfect time to launch.
* Carnival says bookings rising at record pace, could switch home ports if US rules are too restrictive (CNBC)
StockX, after a record year of revenue, completed a new funding round that values the company at $3.8 billion. The high-end sneaker reseller announced today the conclusion of a $195 million secondary tender offering as well as an additional $60 million in Series E-1 primary shares. (CNBC)
Tiger Woods was speeding as fast as 87 mph, more than 45 mph above the legal limit, before his SUV crashed in late February in Southern California, badly injuring the golf legend’s leg, investigators said. It was at least Woods’ third mysterious motor vehicle accident. (CNBC)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Apple (AAPL) is delaying some production of MacBooks and iPads due to the shortages of computer chips and other components, according to Japan’s Nikkei news service. The shortage has not yet impacted product availability for consumers. Apple gained 1% in the premarket.
Twitter (TWTR) held talks in recent months to buy audio-based social network Clubhouse for about $4 billion, according to a Bloomberg report. The talks stalled for an unknown reason, however, and are no longer ongoing. Twitter shares gained 1% in the premarket.
Constellation Brands (STZ), the maker of Corona beer and a variety of spirits brands, beat Wall Street estimates on both the top and bottom lines for its latest quarter, saying it performed well despite pandemic-related challenges.
Morgan Stanley downgraded WW International (WW) to “equal-weight” from “overweight,” noting its significant outperformance over the past 12 months and that shares of the company formerly known as Weight Watchers are now within about 5% of its price target. The stock fell 3.1% in premarket trading.
Conagra Brands (CAG), behind food brands like Duncan Hines, Birds Eye and Healthy Choice, reported quarterly earnings of 59 cents per share, a penny a share above estimates. Revenue topped forecasts as well. Conagra continues to see elevated demand stemming from more people staying at home during the pandemic. Conagra rose 1.1% in premarket trading.
Cloud company Box (BOX) announced a $500 million investment from funds run by private-equity firm KKR (KKR), which will receive convertible preferred stock. Box will use the proceeds to repurchase up to $500 million of its common stock. Box shares tumbled 5.6% premarket.
Bilibili (BILI) is denying a Reuters report that the online video site operator is in talks to buy a 24% stake in Yoozoo Games. The report had said the potential deal would see Bilibili buy both the stake as well as Yoozoo’s headquarters for about $765 million. Bilbili shares rose 2.1% in premarket action.
Business software company Progress Software (PRGS) announced a $300 million offering of convertible debt. Progress shares fell 1.8% in premarket trading.
A nine million share block of Academy Sports + Outdoors (ASO) is being offered through JPMorgan Chase, according to sources who spoke to StreetAccount. The shares tumbled 5% in premarket action.
The first round of the Masters begins this morning at Augusta National. There was never any doubt that the venerable Georgia golf club would take a different path than Major League Baseball which yanked this summer’s All-Star Game from Atlanta to show its displeasure with state’s new restrictive voting law. (AP)