Wall Street stocks set to extend gains ahead of Disney earnings


Stock futures creep higher

U.S. stock futures staged a rally early Wednesday, suggesting stocks will rise at the opening bell, as market participants await another batch of corporate earnings reports, including from Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) and CVS Health (NYSE: CVS).

Analysts expect CVS to post fourth-quarter earnings of $1.83 per share on revenue of $75.55 billion before the market opens.

Disney is expected to report first-quarter earnings of 61 cents per share on revenue of $18.63 billion after the closing bell.

Other earnings to watch today include MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM), Yum Brands (NYSE: YUM), Bunge (NYSE: BG), and Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT).

As of writing, the blue-chip Dow futures surged 208 points, or 0.59% to 35,550. S&P 500 futures added 33.75 points, or 0.75% to 4,546.25 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures soared 140.5 points, or 0.95% to 14,875.

DOJ seizes $3.6 billion in stolen bitcoin

In other news, the U.S. Justice Department says it has recovered about $3.6 billion in Bitcoin stolen the 2016 cyber breach of Hong Kong-based Bitfinex, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

According to a statement released by the department on Tuesday, a New York couple accused of laundering the stolen cryptocurrency has also been arrested.

Tech entrepreneur Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife, Heather Morgan were arrested on Tuesday morning and charged with money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

The seizure is the largest ever for the department. Justice department officials said that at the time of the hack, the stolen bitcoin was worth about $71 million, but the value has since skyrocketed to about $4.5 billion.

Microsoft reportedly in talks to acquire Mandiant

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is in talks to acquire Mandiant (NASDAQ: MNDT), the cybersecurity software and services company that split from FireEye last year, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

The news outlet, which cited a person familiar with the matter, said the discussions may not result in a deal.

Mandiant focuses on cyber-incident response and cybersecurity testing. It was acquired by FireEye in 2013 but the two companies decided to part ways on Oct. 8 last year.

If the deal goes through, it would help Microsoft add new features to existing products that protect its clients from cyber threats.

Shares of Mandiant ended Tuesday’s regular trading session up 17.86% to $17.75 apiece following the report.