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Bitcoin and Tesla, Federal Reserve, AMC: Five things you must know

Bitcoin and Tesla, Federal Reserve, AMC: Five things you must know
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Stock futures rose modestly Monday as the S&P 500 set another record high and Wall Street prepared for a key meeting of the Federal Reserve later this week.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 12 points, S&P 500 futures gained 5 points and Nasdaq futures rose 55 points.

The S&P 500 posted its second consecutive record closing high on Friday with investors assessing the Federal Reserve’s stance that inflation spikes will prove to be transitory.

For the week, the Dow fell 0.8 per cent, the S&P 500 ticked up 0.4 per cent, and the Nasdaq jumped 1.8 per cent.

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The big event this week will be an announcement on interest rates from the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting body, the Federal Open Market Committee, on Wednesday, followed by a press conference from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

While the U.S. central bank isn’t expected to take any action with respect to rates or a tapering of monthly asset purchases, Wall Street will be monitoring the meeting closely for the Fed’s forecasts on inflation and the strength of the economic recovery.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury inched up to around 1.464 per cent. It hit a three-month low last Thursday.

2. — This Week’s Calendar: Federal Reserve Meeting

The economic calendar in the U.S. Monday is bare but later in the week will see data on retail sales, producer prices, manufacturing and industrial production.

The rates announcement from the Federal Reserve will come at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a press conference that day at 2:30 p.m.

3. — Tesla Will Accept Bitcoin Again When Mining Is Cleaner

Bitcoin rose above $39,000 (U.S.) after Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk

said his electric-vehicle company would resume transactions with the world’s largest cryptocurrency when mining is done with more “clean energy usage.”

“When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50 per cent) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions,” Musk said in a tweet on Sunday.

The tweet was in a response to another post suggesting Musk’s back-and-forth positions recently on the cryptocurrency were “market manipulation.”

Bitcoin was up 9.67 per cent early Monday to $39,102, according to CoinDesk. It has traded wildly since setting a record high of $64,829 in mid-April.

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Many of Musk’s Twitter posts and comments have been linked to the digital currency’s recent moves up and down.

4. — AMC and Other Meme Stocks Trade Higher

Meme stocks such as AMC Entertainment (AMC) were rising in premarket trading Monday, extending gains from last week.

AMC, which has become a favourite of the retail trading crowd, was rising more than 3 per cent to $50.91 after jumping more than 15 per cent on Friday. The stock rose 3.1 per cent last week.

The movie-theatre chain received an upgrade last week from S&P Global, thanks to its ongoing efforts in raising cash and paying off pandemic-induced debt.

GameStop (GME) was up 1.68 per cent to $237.26, extending gains Friday of 5.9 per cent.

5. — Mall Operator Washington Prime Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Washington Prime Group (WPG) , a real Estate Investment Trust that operates about 100 malls, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after the COVID-19 pandemic slammed the brick-and-mortar retail sector.

The company will continue operating under its restructuring agreement. It secured a debtor-in-possession loan of about $100 million.

Washington Prime estimated its assets at about $4 billion with debt of almost $3.5 billion.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for many companies, including Washington Prime Group, making a Chapter 11 filing necessary to reduce the company’s outstanding indebtedness,” the company said in a statement.
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