Futures muted; Quadruple witching, Fed ethics rules, Invesco, Lucid, and more

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Wall Street

Wall Street futures flat as ‘quadruple witching’ Friday kicks off

U.S. stock futures were flat Friday morning after stocks ended the previous session mixed, following a better-than-forecast measure of activity in the Philadelphia Federal Reserve district and a report that showed retail sales rose unexpectedly in August rise.

The key event to watch today is the quarterly ‘quadruple witching’ when stock futures, stock options, stock index futures, and stock index options all expire.

Sometimes, the expirations can sometimes increase volatility across the stock market, especially near the closing bell.

At around 5:15 a.m. ET, futures tied to the blue-chip Dow were marked 12 points, or 0.03% lower to 34,737.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures gave away 17.50 points, or 0.11% to 15,500.25 while S&P 500 were little changed.

Fed to review ethics rules around financial investment activities by senior officials

In other news, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has reportedly ordered staff to review the central bank’s ethics guidelines after several of its top officials disclosed large investments and stock trades, triggering public anger.

Powell made the directive after the disclosures last week showed that Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Dallas’ Robert S.

Kaplan bought and sold stocks and assets tied to real estate in 2020 when the central bank was making aggressive moves to support financial markets.

Following revelations about their trading activities, Kaplan and Rosengren said they would offload any holdings of individual stocks by the end of the month and put the proceeds into cash or index funds.

In a tweet, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said the review was “long overdue” but urged the central bank’s regional bank presidents to impose strict rules on their own.

Invesco said to be in talks to merge with State Street’s asset-management business

Meanwhile, shares of Invesco (NYSE: IVZ) were trading higher early Friday after the Wall Street Journal reported it is in talks to merge with State Street (NYSE: STT)’s asset management business.

People familiar with the matter told the Journal that a deal is not imminent and the talks might not result in an agreement.

While the potential terms of a deal are not clear, a merger between the two would likely be one of the industry’s biggest in recent years.

Invesco manages $1.5 trillion in assets and a large exchange-traded fund (ETF) business, while State Street’s asset-management unit oversees about $4 trillion in assets as of June 30.

Invesco stock gained $1.61, or 6.47% to $26.50 per share in the pre-market trading session.

Lucid extends gains as EPA rates its electric vehicle at 520 miles

Shares of Lucid (NASDAQ: LCID) were also trading in the green territory in the premarket session after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the company’s Air Dream Edition Range with an official rating of 520 miles of range on a single charge.

It is the longest of any electric vehicle rated by the EPA, topping Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA)’s Model S by 115 miles.

Last month, Lucid announced it would start deliveries of fully reserved Air Dream Edition Range cars later this year.

Lucid stock added $1.31, or 6.18% to $22.48 premarket. The stock gained 6.33% Thursday, following news of the EPA certification.

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