What to watch today: Dow set to open lower ahead of Day 2 of Powell's testimony

Dow futures dropped Thursday, one day after the S&P 500 hit an all-time high but failed to close at a record. In a muted session, the Dow finished slightly higher and the Nasdaq ended slightly lower. Both both benchmarks were less than 1% away from their record closes on Monday. (CNBC)

* Bitcoin looks attractive from an ESG standpoint, says Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood (CNBC Pro)
* Here's why Cathie Wood says it's a mistake to sell stay-at-home winners (CNBC Pro)
* Cathie Wood explains her strategy on Chinese stocks in light of the crackdown (CNBC Pro)

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is set to deliver his semiannual economic testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. He told the House Committee on Financial Committee on Wednesday that the Fed is still a ways off from altering monetary policy. He also said he expects inflation to moderate even as the latest readings this week on consumer prices and wholesale prices surged. (CNBC)

Bond yields fell on Powell's dovish message Wednesday. The 10-year Treasury yield continued to drop Thursday to around 1.32%. The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims for last week came in as expected at 360,000. That's a new Covid-era low. First-time claims, which rose unexpectedly for the week ended July 3, were upwardly revised. (CNBC)

* U.S. oil prices extend losses on expected supply increase (Reuters)

The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for 2022 could be 6.1% due to inflation, according to a new estimate. That would be the biggest increase since 1983, according to non-partisan advocacy group The Senior Citizens League, which calculated the figure. (CNBC)

* IRS starts distributing child tax credit as Biden seeks to extend program (USA Today)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Shares of Morgan Stanley (MS) dropped 1.2% in the premarket after the bank reported Thursday morning better-than-expected earnings and revenue in the second quarter on strength in equities trading and investment banking. (CNBC)

UnitedHealth (UNH) on Thursday morning reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations. The largest U.S. health insurer also raised its full-year earnings target. The Dow stock fell 0.4% in premarket trading. (CNBC)

Shares of AMC Entertainment (AMC) dropped another 6% in Thursday's premarket, indicating a fifth straight session of losses, one day after dropping 15%. The volatile meme-stock has lost a total of 30% over the past four down sessions. As of Wednesday's close, AMC shares have lost more than half of their value after hitting an all-time of $72.62 on June 2. (CNBC)

GameStop (GME), the original meme stock, has fallen more than 21% this month, and it continued to so in the premarket as the reality of bubble-like rallies and failing businesses started to become apparent for Reddit-obsessed investors. However, for 2021, AMC was still up more than 1,450% and GameStop was up nearly 800%.

General Motors (GM) is telling owners of 2017-2019 Bolt EVs that were part of a recent recall not to park their vehicles inside or charge them unattended overnight. The warning comes after two Bolt EVs caught fire. Those vehicles had been repaired as part of a recall of nearly 69,000, which were flagged for fire risks. (CNBC)

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is recalling some batches of its Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreen products after benzene was found in some samples. J&J said benzene, which can potentially cause cancer, is not used in the manufacture of the products and it's investigating how it wound up in some of them. (Reuters)

Netflix (NFLX) hired former Facebook executive Mike Verdu to lead its video games unit, as it steps up efforts to grow beyond its flagship video streaming business. Prior to his two years at Facebook, Verdu worked at gaming companies Electronic Arts, Kabam, Zynga and Atari, dating back to the late 1990s. (CNBC)

Coca-Cola (KO) changed the flavor of its soda in 1985 and enraged a nation. Now, the company is doing it again. This time, it is changing the taste and look of one of its most popular soft drinks: Coke Zero, the diet spinoff that's supposed to closely resemble the sugary version of "classic" Coke. (NY Times)

As Congress considers making the greatest single investment in passenger rail in U.S. history, a bipartisan group led by three former transportation secretaries is trying to mobilize support for a $205 billion infusion of funding for new high-speed rail projects around the country. (WSJ)

STOCKS TO WATCH

American International Group (AIG) shares surged 5% in premarket trading after it announced a deal to sell a 9.9% stake in its life insurance and retirement services unit to Blackstone (BX) for $2.2 billion. The deal also calls for Blackstone to manage an initial $50 billion in assets backing AIG's life insurance policies and annuities, increasing to about $100 billion over the next six years.

Bank of NY Mellon (BK) beat estimates by 13 cents with quarterly earnings of $1.13 per share and revenue topping estimates as well. Its board also reauthorized the repurchase of up to $6 billion in common stock.

Truist Financial (TFC), which resulted from the 2019 merger of SunTrust and BB&T, reported an adjusted quarterly profit of $1.55 per share, beating the $1.19 consensus estimate, while revenue also came in above Wall Street projections. Results were helped by strong fee and wealth management income, among other factors.

US Bancorp (USB) earned $1.28 per share for the second quarter, 14 cents above estimates, with revenue beating estimates as well. Its results got a boost from an improving economy which helped boost credit and debit card revenue and allowed it to lower its credit loss provision.

Norton LifeLock (NLOK) is in talks to buy fellow cybersecurity firm Avast, in a deal that would expand Norton's presence in consumer software. Avast said the two sides were in advanced discussions about a possible cash-and-stock deal. Norton LifeLock fell 2.6% in the premarket.

WATERCOOLER

One of lower Manhattan's most iconic spots is being closed to the public for the urgent installation of safety scaffolding, which could remain in place for up to a decade. The steps of the Federal Hall National Memorial on Wall Street are a popular photo and seating spot for tourists and financial industry types. (NBC News)

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