Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Stock futures higher as June retail sales beat expectations
- Yellen expects more 'rapid inflation' ahead before cooling kicks in
- Biden says U.S. will caution businesses about 'deteriorating' situation in Hong Kong
- Intel in talks to acquire GlobalFoundries for roughly $30 billion, WSJ reports
- LA County to put indoor mask mandate back in place
1. Stock futures higher as June retail sales beat expectations
U.S. stock futures were higher Friday morning, the final day of trading in the first week of second-quarter earnings reports. Dow futures implied an opening gain of more than 70 points, while futures for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also in the green. A day earlier, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 53.79 points, or 0.15%, to finish at 34,987.02. The broad S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 0.33% and 0.7%, respectively. The 30-stock Dow is on pace for its fourth positive week in a row. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are on pace to break three-week win streaks.
June retail sales came in above forecasts, rising 0.6%, the Commerce Department said Friday morning. Economists expected a 0.4% decline, according to Dow Jones. In May, retail sales fell more than the Street projected.
This week's earnings reports were highlighted by the major U.S. banks. Looking ahead to early next week, IBM is scheduled to report Monday, while Netflix, United Airlines and Chipotle Mexican Grill post results Tuesday.
2. Yellen expects more 'rapid inflation' ahead before cooling kicks in
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC she expects "several more months of rapid inflation" before price pressures begin to subside. "I'm not saying that this is a one-month phenomenon. But I think over the medium term, we'll see inflation decline back toward normal levels. But of course, we have to keep a careful eye on it," Yellen told CNBC's Sara Eisen in an interview, which aired after Thursday's closing bell.
The latest consumer and producer price indexes, released earlier this week, came in above Wall Street's expectation, showing the pickup in inflation during the U.S. economy's pandemic recovery remained present in June.
On the hot housing market, Yellen said it's a "very different phenomenon" than the housing bubble that burst around the 2008 financial crisis. However, she said, "I do worry about affordability and the pressures that higher housing prices will create for families that are first-time homebuyers or have less income."
3. Biden says U.S. will caution businesses about 'deteriorating' situation in Hong Kong
The U.S. plans to issue an advisory warning to American businesses about "what may happen" in Hong Kong, as the Chinese government further exerts influence over the semi-autonomous region, President Joe Biden said Thursday. Biden said the situation in the Asian financial hub "is deteriorating," and he criticized Beijing for "not keeping its commitment" to the former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997. Reuters reported that the Biden administration is preparing a round of sanctions on Chinese government officials for their role in cracking down on democracy in Hong Kong.
The Biden administration's planned actions reflect the continued tensions in the U.S.-China relationship, which also was frosty under then-President Donald Trump.
4. Intel in talks to acquire GlobalFoundries for roughly $30 billion, WSJ reports
Shares of Intel rose about 0.6% in premarket trading Friday, following The Wall Street Journal's report that the semiconductor company is in talks to acquire GlobalFoundries for roughly $30 billion. But the newspaper, citing people familiar with the matter, reported Intel's potential deal for the U.S.-based chipmaker may not come to fruition. GlobalFoundries, which is owned by Mubadala Investment Company, a United Arab Emirates sovereign wealth fund, had reportedly been exploring a blockbuster initial public offering.
Intel, under the leadership of new CEO Pat Gelsinger, plans to invest billions in building two chip factories in Arizona and launch a new foundry unit. An influential company in the history of Silicon Valley, Intel has in recent years lagged behind Asian rivals such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.
5. LA County to put indoor mask mandate back in place
Los Angeles County, the nation's largest, is requiring people to wear face masks indoors again due to a rise in coronavirus cases, driven by the highly transmissible delta variant. The mandate, which also applies to people who have been vaccinated against Covid, goes into effect before midnight Saturday.
LA County had dropped its mask requirement for fully vaccinated individuals about a month ago, coinciding with the state of California lifting most of its most-pandemic era restrictions. The county's public health officer, Dr. Muntu Davis, said Thursday he's now seeing "substantial community transmission." The majority of cases are being recorded in people who have not received the Covid vaccine.
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. overall have increased recently, as public health officials across the globe grow concerned about the delta variant.
Correction: An earlier version misstated the Nasdaq winning streak. It's three weeks.