5 things to know before the stock market opens Monday, April 12

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

1. Inventories will decline after record closings for Dow and S&P 500

Traders on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Source: NYSE

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi speaks at a product launch event in San Francisco, California on Sept. 26, 2019.

Philip Pacheco | AFP via Getty Images

Uber posted record gross bookings for March on Monday, indicating an increase in ride demand. The tech giant’s rides business was badly hit by pandemic lockdowns last year. However, Uber benefited from a boom in food delivery, which helped cut losses in 2020. Shares of Uber were up 2% in Monday’s premarket.

2. Powell says “highly unlikely” that the Fed will hike rates this year

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a virtual press conference in Tiskilwa, Illinois, December 16, 2020.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reaffirmed the central bank’s commitment to maintain a loose monetary policy, despite what he sees as an economy recovering rapidly from the depths of the pandemic. “I think it is highly unlikely that we will increase rates this year,” Powell told “60 Minutes” in an interview aired on Sunday. “I can guarantee that the Fed will do everything we can to support the economy for as long as it takes to complete the recovery,” he added. That support includes nearly zero short-term interest rates and $ 120 billion a month in bond purchases.

3. Covid variant evades any vaccine protection

A health worker will administer a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at a mobile clinic near Moshav Dalton in northern Israel on February 22, 2021.

Jalaa Marey | AFP | Getty Images

The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa could evade some of the protection offered by Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-step vaccine, according to a new Israeli study. The researchers found that the prevalence of the strain in patients who received both doses of the vaccine was about eight times higher than in those who were not vaccinated.

View of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ corporate and research and development headquarters on Old Saw Mill River Road in Tarrytown, New York.

Lev Radin | LightRocket | Getty Images

Regeneron plans to ask the FDA to allow its Covid antibody therapy to be used as a preventative treatment. In a phase three clinical study, the company said the drug cocktail reduced the risk of symptomatic infections in individuals by 81%. The therapy was given to then-President Donald Trump shortly after he was diagnosed with coronavirus last year.

4. CEOs meet for the White House Chip Summit; Biden meets with lawmakers about infrastructure

US President Joe Biden speaks as he announces executive actions on gun violence prevention at the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, April 8, 2021.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

5. Microsoft is in advanced discussions to purchase Nuance for approximately $ 16 billion

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the Future Decoded Tech Summit in Bengaluru, India, on Feb. 25, 2020.

Samyukta Lakshmi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Microsoft is in advanced discussions to buy speech recognition company Nuance Communications, a person familiar with the discussions, told CNBC. A transaction may be announced Monday, the person said, adding that Microsoft is willing to pay about $ 56 per share. Shares of Nuance were up nearly 24% in the premarket from Monday to more than $ 56. Buying Nuance will expand Microsoft’s speech software capabilities. Nuance would be Microsoft’s second largest acquisition at $ 16 billion, after the purchase of LinkedIn for $ 27 billion in 2016. Microsoft’s stock changed little.

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