While Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) dominated headlines with its groundbreaking acquisition, US markets dropped lower on Tuesday. This was due to a selloff sparked by higher US government bond yields, though North American markets now look set to open in the green on Wednesday.
Futures are higher ahead of the market open and investors may be steered by key earnings and market data releases.
Key things to look out for today include earnings from UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC). According to CNBC, 70% of the 33 companies to have reported their quarterly earnings for this period have exceeded analysts' expectations.
Additionally, new housing and building permit data will be released just before markets open.
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Here are some of today's top stories:
Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) soared by more than 25% on Tuesday after it was confirmed that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) will snap up the game development giant for almost $70bn.
Meanwhile, shares in Sony (NYSE: SONY), Microsoft’s main competitor in the gaming space, have slid amid fears that the deal will lead the company’s PlayStation consoles to be less popular than the Xbox.
Unilever’s (NYSE: UL) pursuit of GlaxoSmithKline’s (NYSE: GSK) consumer products arm is now looking even more unwise, with ratings agency Fitch stating that acceptance of the $50bn offer would lead to the company’s credit rating falling.
Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) saw its profits fall short of expectations due to rising wages for Wall Street employees, according to its fourth quarter earnings.
Trump-linked stocks Digital World Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: DWAC) and Phunware (NASDAQ: PHUN) both surged on Tuesday as excitement builds for the release of TRUTH Social, the former President's upcoming social media network.
NeuroMetrix (NASDAQ: NURO) shares have leapt after its Quell wearable technology received breakthrough device designation from the US Food and Drug Administration.
DatChat (NASDAQ: DATS) is also in the green after it said it had commenced development of a new platform for the sharing of NFTs, documents, audio and video files and messages.
Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) were both lower after the results of an Israeli study appeared to indicate that a fourth dose of the duo’s jointly developed COVID vaccine was not more effective at preventing infection by the Omicron variant.
Blink Charging (NASDAQ: BLNK) will provide electric vehicle charge points at General Motors (NYSE: GM) dealerships across North America, deepening collaboration between the two companies.
Crypto.com has halted withdrawals amid reports that $15m-worth of Ethereum (ETH) has been stolen from the exchange.
The UK Treasury has announced plans to crack down on misleading cryptocurrency adverts, which it says will become subject to the same regulations that stocks, shares and insurance products are subjected to.
Gareth Southgate, manager of the England national football team, is the latest major celebrity to be falsely represented in such advertisements. A mass email claimed that the former Middlesbrough midfielder made a fortune from trading on an unnamed crypto platform.
Tonga is accepting donations in Bitcoin (BTC) as it seeks to recover from a volcanic eruption at the weekend.
Asian market news:
Genting Hong Kong (HK: 0678) shares have been suspended after the cruise operator filed to wind up the company.
Alibaba (HK: 9988) was under the cosh as its cloud computing business faces renewed scrutiny from the US government, who are examining whether it poses a risk to national security.