5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday


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

1. Wall Street on track for a winning week on strong earnings

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), October 12, 2021.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

2. Bitcoin nears $60,000 on hopes for first bitcoin futures ETF

Bitcoin on display.

Chesnot | Getty Images

Bitcoin continued its march higher Friday, inching toward $60,000 overnight, on growing hopes that U.S. regulators won’t stand in the way of the first bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund. The fund is set to begin trading Tuesday. The Securities and Exchange Commission can object to the filing until midnight Monday. However, many crypto watchers believe the odds are in favor of the ETF beginning trading as scheduled. Bitcoin hit an all-time high near $65,000 in April before a major slump that brought the world’s largest digital currency below $29,000 in June. Bitcoin, known for its volatility, has doubled since then.

3. Retail sales out before the bell after this week’s hot inflation data

Pedestrians carry Macy’s shopping bags in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

4. FDA panel to meet on J&J booster after recommending Moderna

A nurse fills a syringe with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Covid-19 vaccine at a clinic hosted by The Tournament of Roses in partnership with the Pasadena Public Health Department, August 19, 2021 at Tournament House in Pasadena, California.

Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee is set to meet Friday to consider a booster shot of Johnson & Johnson‘s one-dose Covid vaccine and data on mixing and matching shots. The panel on Thursday unanimously recommended giving a booster of Moderna‘s two-dose Covid vaccine to people 65 and older and other vulnerable adults. The nonbinding decision would bring guidelines for Moderna in line with a third shot of Pfizer‘s vaccine. A final FDA decision on Moderna boosters could come within days after consideration from the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

5. Virgin Galactic sinks 20% after delaying commercial service

Sir Richard Branson, left, in space alongside mission specialists Sirisha Bandla and Beth Moses on July 11, 2021.

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic is delaying the launch of its commercial space tourism service until the fourth quarter of 2022. Shares of Richard Branson‘s space company plunged 20% in the premarket. Virgin Galactic will start this month refurbishing and improving its spacecraft and carrier aircraft, rather than carry out its next spaceflight test. The company’s enhancement process, which is expected to take eight to 10 months, makes mid-2022 the earliest for the Unity 23 spaceflight. Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration cleared Virgin Galactic to return to flight after an investigation into the July spaceflight that carried Branson.

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