Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
1. S&P on track to finish its worst first half in 52 years
Stock futures fell Thursday morning, as investors continued to weigh the ongoing impact of inflation, central bank rate hikes and the deluge of second-quarter earnings reports coming in a few weeks. The latest reading of the Fed’s favorite inflation gauge is due this morning, as well: the core personal consumption expenditures index is set to drop at 8:30 a.m. ET. The S&P 500 is on track to have its worst first half of a year since 1970.
2. Bitcoin slides under $19,000
There has been no reprieve for bitcoin, which briefly slipped under $19,000 on Thursday morning before a slight rebound. The cryptocurrency, the world’s largest, is down 58% this year and off about 70% since its all-time high in November. As investors in a variety of sectors contend with a perilous macroeconomic situation, people with money in the crypto game are also dealing with liquidity issues at several companies. Read more here.
3. Wells Fargo CEO: Economy isn’t ready for rate hikes
Charles Scharf, the CEO of Wells Fargo, says the economy isn’t quite prepared for the future rate hikes the Fed has in store, as the central bank wages a battle against four-decade-high inflation. “We know rates are going up; it couldn’t be clearer,” he told CNBC’s Sara Eisen at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Wednesday. “We know that consumers and businesses, while strong today, are going to see deterioration, and we’re going to act surprised when it happens.”
4. Spirit delays shareholder vote on Frontier deal
In an 11th-hour move, Spirit Airlines on Wednesday evening again delayed its shareholder vote on a proposed merger with fellow low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines. The meeting was set for Thursday morning but was moved to July 8. The delay gives JetBlue a renewed opportunity to push its bid for Spirit, which has been rejected several times despite increasingly sweetened offers. Either merger would create the fifth-biggest airline in the United States. “Spirit would not have postponed tomorrow’s meeting if they felt they had the votes,” Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry consultant and president of Atmosphere Research Group, told CNBC.
5. Walgreens sticks with its outlook
Pharmacy company Walgreens Boots Alliance‘s earnings report Thursday beat Wall Street’s expectations, thanks in part to growth in online sales. Walgreens, which said it administered millions of Covid tests and vaccines during the quarter, also stuck by its profit outlook for the year. Shares of the company fell more than 2% in light premarket trading.
— CNBC’s Pippa Stevens, Ian Thomas, Arjun Kharpal, Leslie Josephs and Melissa Repko contributed to this report.