Bond Yields, Google, Papa John's and Microsoft – 5 Things You Must Know


Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, Oct. 9:

1. — Stocks Slump With Bond Yields at Seven-Year Highs

U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open for Wall Street on Tuesday, Oct. 9, as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose above 3.25%, a fresh seven-year high.

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 121points, futures for the S&P 500 fell 13.25 points, and Nasdaq futures were down 35.50 points.

Bond yields have been rising as recent strong U.S. economic data has investors anticipating the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at a pace faster than expected as inflation pressures mount in the world’s biggest economy.

Stocks also took a hit from the International Monetary Fund’s downgrade of the world economy. The IMF, citing rising interest rates and growing tensions over trade, said the global economy will grow 3.7% in 2018, unchanged from 2017 but down from the 3.9% it forecast just two months ago.

The economic calendar in the U.S. on Tuesday includes opening remarks from Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans at the 2018 Opportunity Finance Network Conference in Chicago at 10 a.m. ET.

Earnings reports are scheduled from AZZ Inc. (AZZ) and Helen of Troy Inc. (HELE) .

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2. — Google Won’t Bid for $10 Billion Pentagon Cloud Contract

Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL)  Google won’t compete for the Pentagon’s cloud-computing contract that is valued at as much as $10 billion, saying the project may conflict with its corporate values, Bloomberg reported.

Bids for the project, known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud, or JEDI, are due on Friday, Oct. 12. The contract could last as long as 10 years.

“We are not bidding on the JEDI contract because first, we couldn’t be assured that it would align with our AI Principles,” a Google spokesman told Bloomberg  in a statement. “And second, we determined that there were portions of the contract that were out of scope with our current government certifications.”

A few months ago, Google decided not to renew its contract with a Pentagon artificial intelligence program, after employees protested about the company working with the military.

Alphabet was down 0.5% in premarket trading on Tuesday.

Separately, Google is expected Tuesday to unveil two new Pixel-branded smartphones at an event in New York.

Alphabet is a holding in Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells GOOGL? Learn more now.

3. — Papa John’s Jumps on Reports of a Possible Takeover Bid

Shares of Papa John’s International Inc.  (PZZA) jumped 9.1% to $55 in premarket trading following a report that said Trian Fund Management LP was  considering making a bid for the pizza chain.

Papa John’s put itself up for sale earlier this year after the company’s board forced out its founder and chairman, John Schnatter, for using a derogatory racial term during a marketing call. Schnatter remains on the board and still owns about 30% of the company.

Trian has asked the company for information as it considers a possible bid, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. Trian’s approach is one of several the pizza chain has received, the Journal said.

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4. — Microsoft Invests in Ride-Hailing Company Grab

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) said Monday it would invest in Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab as part of a technology partnership.

The value of Microsoft’s investment wasn’t disclosed.

The companies plan to collaborate in such areas as big data and artificial intelligence, and Grab will adopt Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform.

“We’re fascinated with the companies that are emerging from Southeast Asia,” Peggy Johnson, executive vice president at Microsoft, told CNBC in an interview. “It’s been amazing to watch what they have done with technology, in the way that they’ve applied it to solving problems for their customers.”

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5. — Richard Branson Says Virgin Galactic to Reach Space ‘Within Weeks, Not Months’

Richard Branson, the British billionaire and entrepreneur, said he believes his commercial space flight company, Virgin Galactic, will take its first trip into space “within weeks, not months.”

“And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years,” the Virgin founder and CEO told CNBC. 

“We will be in space with people not too long after that so we have got a very, very exciting couple of months ahead,” he added.

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