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What to Watch Today: Wall Street Looks Steady After Two-Week Winning Streak

Source: NYSE

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were relatively flat Monday. Wall Street was looking to close out a monthly gain for March on Thursday after logging a two-week winning streak. On the first day of April, this coming Friday, the government is scheduled release its last monthly employment report ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting in the first week of May. (CNBC)

Growing expectations for more aggressive interest rate hikes have been pushing bond yields higher. In fact, the 5-year and 30-year Treasury yields Monday inverted for the first time since 2006, raising fears of a possible recession. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield reached almost 2.56%, hitting a fresh nearly two-year high. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Oil prices dropped roughly 5% on Monday as traders worried about weaker fuel demand in China after Shanghai launched a two-stage Covid lockdown. The initial phase runs from Monday to Friday morning in the eastern part of Shanghai, home to the city's financial center. The Shanghai Stock Exchange won't be affected. The second phase applies to the western part of the city, and runs from Friday morning to the afternoon of April 5. (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) will suspend production at its Shanghai factory in accordance with the first phase of the city's Covid lockdown, Reuters reported Monday. The company declined to comment on the status of operations at its Shanghai plant for the week. Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he has Covid again but has "almost no symptoms."

Tesla revealed it wants to split its shares so it can pay a stock dividend to shareholders, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday. Tesla shares jumped 5.5% in the premarket. The stock has more than doubled since its last split — a 5-for-1 split — in August 2020. Tesla shares have been struggling in 2022 after gaining nearly 50% for all of last year and about 740% in 2020.

In a tweet Saturday, Musk said he's giving "serious thought" to building a new social media platform. The Tesla and SpaceX billionaire made the comment one day after claiming Twitter doesn't allow for free speech. Twitter, which said it is committed to freedom of expression, did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

Talks between Ukraine and Russia are set to continue this week, with officials from both countries traveling to Turkey in hopes of defusing the conflict. Meanwhile, Moscow said President Joe Biden's Saturday remarks that Russian leader Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power" were alarming. The White House later walked back Biden's comments. (CNBC)

* Biden’s job approval rating hits lowest point of his presidency (NBC News poll)

Biden is expected to propose a new minimum tax that would largely target billionaires when he unveils his 2023 budget, according to a document obtained by CNBC. The so-called Billionaire Minimum Income Tax would assess a 20% minimum tax rate on U.S. households worth more than $100 million. Over half the revenue could come from those worth more than $1 billion.

Apple TV+'s "CODA" was the first film produced by a streaming service to win Best Picture at the Oscars. It won three overall. Moments after smacking Chris Rock for a joke about his wife, Will Smith won Best Actor for "King Richard," and apologized to the academy. (CNBC)

* Apple will cut planned iPhone SE output by 20% next quarter (Nikkei)

Walmart (WMT) is ending cigarette sales in some U.S. stores after years of debate within the retail company's leadership ranks about the sale of tobacco products, The Wall Street Journal reports. Cigarettes are being removed in various markets, including some stores in California, Florida, Arkansas and New Mexico, the paper adds.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Poly (POLY) agreed to be acquired by HP Inc. (HPQ) for $40 per share, compared to Poly's Friday close of $26.20 per share. The companies expect the deal to close before the end of this year. Poly shares jumped 48% to just under the offer price.

Uber Technologies (UBER) won a new 30-month license to operate in London. The ride-hailing service had been engaged in a dispute with regulators over the past five years over safety issues and had lost its license to operate twice over that period.

Beyond Meat (BYND) fell 5% in the premarket after Piper Sandler downgraded the stock to "underweight" from "neutral." Piper points to increasing competition for plant-based meat substitutes, as well as lower positive expectations for the impact of a nationwide McDonald's (MCD) launch.

Coinbase (COIN) is reportedly near a deal to buy 2TM, the parent of Brazilian cryptocurrency brokerage Mercado Bitcoin, according to a local newspaper. The paper said a deal could be closed by the end of April. Shares of the cryptocurrency exchange operator rallied 4% in the premarket.

Foot Locker (FL) fell 1.7% in premarket trading after Cowen downgraded it to "market perform" from "outperform." Cowen said despite an inexpensive valuation, investors may be underappreciating the potential impact of inflation.

Barclays (BCS) lost 3.1% in premarket action after the British bank disclosed a loss of nearly $592 million stemming from mishandled bond trades. It also said it would delay a planned share buyback as a result.

Hasbro (HAS) turned down a settlement offer with activist investor Alta Fox Capital over board nominees, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to Reuters. Alta Fox holds a 2.5% stake in the toymaker, and the two sides have been negotiating to avoid a proxy contest.

AMC Entertainment (AMC) CEO Adam Aron told Reuters the company would strike more "transformational" deals, following its $27.9 million investment in gold and silver mine operator Hycroft Mining (HYMC) earlier this month. AMC added 2.2% in the premarket.

WATERCOOLER

With two weeks of college basketball upsets and underdog stories in the books, the men's Final Four is down to Kansas, Duke, North Carolina and Villanova. Kansas faces Villanova, then it's Duke-Carolina for the first time in the NCAA Tournament in New Orleans.

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