Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
U.S. stock futures pointed to a rally Friday morning, a day after the three major indexes posted mixed results. On Thursday, the Dow finished slightly positive, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq slipped after another round of inflation data showed that price increases were slowing down somewhat. But one month of data does not make a trend, and inflation remains high even as gas prices are coming down from record highs in June. The Federal Reserve is still expected to take an aggressive tack against rising prices, and is projected to increase rates again in September. Next week, markets will get even more information about how inflation is affecting consumers as Walmart, Target, Home Depot and Lowe’s are all set to report quarterly results.
The House on Friday is set to pass the climate, health-care and corporate tax legislation now known as the Inflation Reduction Act largely along party lines. The law is intended to give a boost to the electric vehicle industry, among other items on the climate side, while bolstering Medicare and Obamacare. The bill is far smaller than initial proposals. Yet it represents a win for the majority Democrats, who have been struggling for months to pass several of President Joe Biden’s agenda items while negotiating with centrist members of their own party, Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Passage in the House will send the bill to Biden for his signature.
Electric vehicle startup Rivian said it is now expecting a wider loss for the year than it had previously projected as it faces supply chain issues and other headwinds the broader EV industry is dealing with. It posted a $1.7 billion loss for the second quarter. The company, which counts Amazon as an investor, stuck with its forecast of about 25,000 deliveries this year, but also said it would scale back its capital expenditures. As of June 30, Rivian had about $15.5 billion in cash on hand. The R1 electric pickup maker said it is confident it has enough cash to eventually start producing its smaller R2 vehicle platform by 2025.
The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over. Tens of thousands of people are infected each day in the United States. But the disease is posing less of a severe health threat, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday, as it eased its guidelines for contending with the virus. The agency said there are high levels of immunity in the population, as well as an array of vaccines and other treatments for it. Among the changes in the CDC’s recommendations: No more testing in schools for people who have no symptoms, and unvaccinated people will no longer need to quarantine if they have been exposed to the virus.
The historic showdown between the U.S. Department of Justice and former President Donald Trump has entered a tense new phase. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday the DOJ had filed a motion to unseal the search warrant FBI agents executed earlier this week at Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club in South Florida. Agents reportedly removed several boxes and documents from the resort. The New York Times and The Washington Post, both citing background sources, reported that U.S. officials were looking for sensitive documents with national security implications. The former president, who has referred to various investigations swirling around him as “witch hunts,” said late Thursday that he would not oppose the release of the warrant. Trump’s lawyers also have a copy of the warrant, as well as a list of items taken in the search, but they have not released either document. The manifest, if it is released, would likely be heavily redacted if classified materials were on the list.
– CNBC’s Samantha Subin, John Rosevear, Spencer Kimball and Dan Mangan contributed to this report.