5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday

Markets

Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:

  • Wall Street looks steady after more retail earnings, near-record closes
  • Target hit for trying to keep prices low; Lowe's gets boost on strong results
  • Bond yields stay elevated ahead of key housing data
  • Biden to tour GM electric vehicle plant to sell infrastructure spending
  • EV start-up Lucid's stock market value blows past Ford

1. Wall Street looks steady after more retail earnings, near-record closes

U.S. stock futures were relatively flat Wednesday, one day after robust retail earnings propelled Wall Street higher. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished Tuesday just shy of their Nov. 8 record high closes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, helped by Home Depot's 5.7% advance, also rose but needed to make up more than 0.8% to top its Nov. 8 record close. Dow stock Boeing climbed 1.5% in Wednesday's premarket after the company received an order from India's Akasa Air for 737 Max jets worth $9 billion. Bitcoin on Wednesday topped $60,000 again but remained about 13% off last week's all-time high.

2. Target hit for trying to keep prices low; Lowe's gets boost on strong results

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Retail earnings continued Wednesday, with Target reporting fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue that topped estimates. The big-box retailer raised forward guidance. But like Walmart on Tuesday, Target investors worried about margins as the company absorbed some of the higher costs of supply chain disruptions and labor shortages rather than passing them on to consumers. Target shares fell more than 4% in the premarket.

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One day after Home Depot's strong quarterly results, Lowe's reported fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations. The home improvement chain got a bump in business from home professionals and online sales. Like Home Depot, Lowe's quarterly same-store sales single-digit percentage increases exceeded estimates but were not nearly as much as the Covid-fueled nesting trend of a year ago. Lowe's raised its full-year revenue forecast. Shares rose 4% in the premarket.

3. Bond yields stay elevated ahead of key housing data

The 10-year Treasury yield held above 1.6% early Wednesday ahead of the government's 8:30 a.m. ET release of October housing starts and building permits. Economists expect starts to increase 1.6% to an annual rate of 1.58 million units compared with September's 1.6% decline. Permits in October are seen rising 2.6% to an annual rate of 1.63 million after a 7.7% decline in the prior month. On Tuesday, homebuilder confidence surged past expectations, as buyer demand remains high.

4. Biden to tour GM electric vehicle plant to sell infrastructure spending

President Joe Biden on Wednesday is set to tour a General Motors plant in Detroit that makes electric vehicles, as he continues to sell the benefits of the recently signed $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. Biden is expected to highlight $7.5 billion in the new law for EV chargers. The GM plant that the president will visit was slated to close in 2018 as the automaker tried to shed excess factory capacity. The facility, which built internal combustion engine vehicles since it opened in 1985, was rescued a year later and designated Factory Zero to build zero-emissions electric vehicles.

5. EV start-up Lucid's stock market value blows past Ford

As legacy automakers ramp up their EV offerings, investors are bidding up a host of new electric vehicle newcomers like Lucid Group. The stock, which began trading in July, surged nearly 24% on Tuesday after executives said reservations for its first vehicles jumped and that its production plans for 2022 were still on track. That share price move pushed Lucid's market value to $89.87 billion, and the stock higher again in Wednesday's premarket. That's almost as high as GM and higher than Ford. Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson, a former Tesla executive, told CNBC on Tuesday evening the automaker is targeting factory expansion in China and the Mideast by mid-decade.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all the market action like a pro on CNBC Pro. Get the latest on the pandemic with CNBC's coronavirus coverage.

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