US stocks stage a rebound

By CNN Business

Updated 10:30 a.m. ET, May 27, 2021
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10:20 a.m. ET, May 26, 2021

Dimon: Cyberattacks are getting worse. DC must do more

From CNN Business' Matt Egan

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon warned Wednesday that cyberattacks are growing in number and sophistication across all sectors and called on Washington to do more to protect critical infrastructure.

“This is a serious national security concern that requires partnership and collaboration to address,” Dimon wrote in prepared remarks to be delivered at a Senate hearing on Wall Street oversight.

The JPMorgan boss said companies have invested significantly in cybersecurity to analyze and mitigate risks to the financial system.

“We need the government to meet us halfway and provide dedicated national security resources to collaborate with critical infrastructure companies and defend the national interest from cyberattacks,” Dimon wrote.

Citing the massive SolarWinds intrusion of the federal government, Dimon said “we need appropriate reforms to ensure the data that is held by financial regulators is properly secured and that policies are in place to guide timely and meaningful notification and response to impacted firs when a breach does occur.”

10:10 a.m. ET, May 26, 2021

Dow and S&P 500 pare gains

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

So much for a green start to the day... About half an hour into the trading session, the Dow and the S&P 500 both gave back their modest gains. They are both flat now.

Walgreens (WBA) is the worst performer in both indexes, down nearly 5%. Shares of CVS (CVS), a S&P component, are also down more than 3%. Shares of the drug store chains got a beating following reports that Amazon (AMZN) is considering opening physical pharmacies.

9:42 a.m. ET, May 26, 2021

Stocks open modestly higher

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

US stocks rose at Wednesday’s market open. It’s another quiet day on Wall Street, with little on the economic calendar and Treasury yields flat. The 10-year US government bond yielded 1.56% around the time of the opening bell.

9:26 a.m. ET, May 26, 2021

China's yuan climbs to 3-year high

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

The Chinese yuan climbed to its highest level since 2018 against the US dollar.

The greenback last bought 6.39 yuan, down 0.3%.

"A recovering economy, positive real interest rates and gradual opening of the domestic financial markets are all, in theory, positive for currency in the medium term," wrote Chong Wee Khoon, senior market strategist for the Asia Pacific region for BNY Mellon, in a note to clients.

But don't get too excited about the currency's move. The yuan is mostly stronger because of a broadly weaker dollar, Khoon said.

"There is no premium nor discount being priced into yuan at present," he added. So while the medium- to long-term trend of the Chinese currency is up, investors shouldn't necessarily race to put all their eggs in the yuan-dollar basket right now.

10:40 a.m. ET, May 26, 2021

Happy 125th birthday to the Dow!

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

Interior view of the Old Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City, circa 1893 — just three years before the Dow launched.
Interior view of the Old Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City, circa 1893 — just three years before the Dow launched.

The venerable Dow Jones Industrial Average is celebrating its quasquicentennial Wednesday. That's 125 years in case you don't want to look it up.

The Dow launched on May 26, 1896. There were only 12 stocks listed at the time. The average (remember that the Dow is famously weighted by price and is not a market cap-ranked index like the S&P 500) traded at about 40 points on its debut day. The Dow is now hovering around 34,300 — proving that it's best for investors to buy and hold!

A lot has changed for the Dow — still the most widely recognized stock market barometer — in the past 125 years. For one, it now lists 30 stocks instead of a dozen. Most of the companies that were in the Dow in 1898 are relics of America's past: American Sugar, US Leather, US Rubber, National Lead. Several of these firms are still around in some form but they've changed their names and business models.

The only company from the OG Dow that still has the same corporate moniker is General Electric (GE). But GE was booted from the Dow in 2018 after years of underperformance, and replaced by drug store giant Walgreens (WBA).

The current Dow also has kept "Industrials" as part of the average's name. But many of the leading Dow components now focus on the more consumer service and tech-oriented sectors of the American economy.

Home Depot (HD), Walmart (WMT), Nike (NKE), Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Cisco (CSCO) and Salesforce (CRM) are among the top Dow stocks in 2021.

8:21 a.m. ET, May 26, 2021

Gold is glittering as the dollar weakens

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

Want more evidence that investors are worried about inflation? Check out the price of gold and the value of the US dollar.

Gold is back above $1,900 an ounce for the first time since early January. Meanwhile, the US Dollar Index has given up all its gains for the year and has fallen nearly 4% from its 2021 peak in late March and is now hovering near a 52-week low.

This is significant because gold tends to spike when investors are nervous about an overheating economy that is leading consumer prices and commodities to spike.

Gold is up because of "concerns that recent inflationary trends may persist beyond the 'transitory' forecasts from the Fed," said John Lynch, chief investment officer with Comerica Wealth Management, in a report Tuesday.

And that's bad news for the dollar, which tends to slide when gold is rallying. Still, there is a bright side to the gold surge and dollar doldrums. This is only happening because the US economy is rebounding from the depths of the Covid-19 recession.

"We are anticipating the highest rates of growth in gross domestic product since the 1980s," said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM US, in a report, adding that US Treasury yields are likely to rise too, further pressuring the dollar.

"For these reasons, we expect that the value of the greenback will experience notable volatility with modest downward pressure, causing the dollar to decline in value against major trading currencies," he added.

6:31 a.m. ET, May 26, 2021

US stocks point to slightly higher open

US stock futures tried to rebound from Tuesday’s fizzled-out rally, as investors became increasingly hopeful that inflation will be temporary and not a sustained problem that could force the Federal Reserve to hike rates. Cryptocurrencies continued to stabilize – bitcoin rallied above $40,000. 

Here's where things stand as of 6:15 am ET:

6:08 a.m. ET, May 26, 2021

Exxon is facing a climate rebellion it may be unable to put down

From CNN Business' Matt Egan

ExxonMobil's (XOM) response to the climate crisis could very well be decided on Wednesday.

For the first time in modern history, America's largest oil company is facing a credible challenge from an activist investor. Upset with Exxon's financial performance and its foot-dragging on the climate, hedge fund Engine No. 1 is seeking to oust four directors at the company's annual shareholder meeting.

The stakes couldn't be higher.

Read more here.

6:07 a.m. ET, May 26, 2021

Airbnb CEO: Business travel won't ever go back to what it was pre-pandemic

From CNN Business' Sara Ashley O'Brien

Airbnb (ABNB) CEO Brian Chesky said travel demand is rebounding, but he doesn't expect business travel to ever return to the way it was before the pandemic.

"It doesn't mean business travel is dead, just business travel as we knew it isn't coming back the way it was," Chesky said in an interview with CNN's Poppy Harlow.
"The reason why is the bar is higher to get on a plane to do a meeting."

As people have largely been grounded for more than a year, Chesky said there's been a realization that much of what workers once traveled for work-wise can be done remotely.

"I think that people now have what they didn't have a year or two ago. Many people now have flexibility. They have flexibility where they travel and live and work -- and they're starting to combine all those," he said.

Read more here.