Dow futures lower ahead of U.S. inflation data; J&J Covid-19 vaccine in focus

Johnson & Johnson

Eyes on CPI data

Dow futures were weaker on Tuesday morning ahead of the release of consumer inflation data for March, which could offer clues on the outlook for potential hikes in interest rates.

The data, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show U.S. consumer prices  ticked up 2.5% on year-over-year basis due in part to a huge rebound in energy prices. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy components, is expected to jump to 1.5%, from 1.3% in February.

As of 7:05 a.m. ET, futures tied to the Dow indicated a loss of 117 points, or 0.35% to 33,514. S&P 500 futures dropped 12.63 points, or 0.31% to 4,107.62 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 were down 16.5 points, or 0.12% to 13,792.25.

FDA, CDC halt use of J&J coronavirus vaccine

Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control have paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) single-dose coronavirus vaccine at federal sites and requested states to follow suit.

“Today FDA and @CDCgov issued a statement regarding the Johnson & Johnson #COVID19 vaccine. We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” the FDA tweeted.

The health agencies made the decision after six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed a rare blood clotting disorder and one died within about two weeks of vaccination, according to the New York Times.

Johnson & Johnson stock was indicated 2.84% lower to $157.05 a share in the pre-market trading session.

Bitcoin soars to a new all-time high ahead of Coinbase IPO

The price of bitcoin has reached a record high as demand for cryptocurrencies continues to grow and traders await the Coinbase initial public offering slated for Wednesday, April 14.

Bitcoin surged above $62,000 for the first time on Tuesday morning, according to data compiled by CoinMarketCap. The leading cryptocurrency has now held its market capitalization above $1 trillion for over 10 straight days.

Coinbase Global, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, will begin trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “COIN” via a direct listing.

Ride-hailing app Grab to go public in biggest SPAC deal ever

Grab Holdings is slated to make its public trading debut on Tuesday morning, in the largest-ever listing through a special-purpose-acquisition company.

The Southeast Asia-based ride-hailing and food delivery company announced a merger with U.S.-based Altimeter (NASDAQ: AGC) that values it at about $39.6 billion, according to a Bloomberg report.

SPACs, also known as blank-check companies, have grown in popularity and received huge sums of money from global investors in recent months. They raise funds by selling shares publicly and listing on stock markets before looking for private businesses to merge with.

As of this writing, shares of Altimeter were up 96 cents, or 6.88% to $14.91 apiece in Wednesday’s pre-market trading session.