Market Sentiment Subdued Ahead Of Powell Remarks

U.S. equity futures

Wall Street set to open lower

U.S. equity futures pointed to a lower open on Tuesday as investors await Jerome Powell to give remarks at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston at 8:45 a.m. ET. They will be listening for any new clues on the Fed chair’s thinking on interest rate policy and the economy.

Powell will also testify before congress on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the central bank’s semi-annual monetary policy report. As of 5:16 a.m. ET, futures on the blue-chip Dow were down 122.5 points, or 0.46% to 26,670.5.

Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 lost 50.25 points, or 0.64% to 7,750.75 while those on the broader S&P 500 declined 13.88 points, or 0.47% to 2,964.62.

Virgin Galactic plans to go public

Virgin Galactic is planning to go public, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The space tourism company, which is owned by Billionaire Richard Branson, will be listed this year on the New York Stock Exchange as part of a deal with special purpose acquisition firm Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp (NYSE: IPOA).

According to the newspaper, Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp plans to invest about $800 million in Virgin Galactic in return for a 49% stake. Virgin Galactic has already raised more than $1 billion since it was founded in 2004 and believes the $800 investment will boost the business.

Piper Jaffray nears pact to acquire Sandler O’Neill

Piper Jaffray (NYSE: PJC) is close to a deal to buy Sandler O’Neill + Partners for $485 million in cash and stock, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.

The transaction would merge Sandler O’Neill’s business of advising banks on equity offerings, mergers, and debt issuance with Piper Jaffray’s broad client base.

Federal judge rules Trump can’t force Big Pharma to disclose drug prices in TV ads

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington has struck down a new rule that would have forced drug makers to disclose the wholesale prices of their drugs in TV commercials.

Mehta on Monday sided with pharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY), Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN), and Merck (NYSE: MRK) in his ruling to stop the Trump administration from implementing the rule.

The judge said the Department of Health and Human Services overstepped its regulatory authority by seeking to force all drug companies to include in their TV ads the list price of any medicines that costs more than $35 per month.