5 things to know before the stock market opens on Friday, October 15

Here are the most important news, trends and analysis investors need to start their trading day:

1. Wall Street on track for a winning week with strong earnings

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), October 12, 2021.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

2. Bitcoin nears $ 60,000 in hopes of a first bitcoin futures ETF

Bitcoin on display.

Chesnot | Getty Images

Bitcoin continued its advance on Friday, hitting $ 60,000 overnight, with growing hopes that U.S. regulators will not stand in the way of the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund. The fund is expected to start trading on Tuesday. The Securities and Exchange Commission may oppose the filing until midnight Monday. However, many crypto watchers believe the odds are in favor of starting ETF trading as expected. Bitcoin hit an all-time high of nearly $ 65,000 in April before a major collapse that brought the world’s largest digital currency below $ 29,000 in June. Bitcoin, known for its volatility, has since doubled.

3. Retail sales before the bell after this week’s hot inflation data

Pedestrians carry Macy’s grocery bags in San Francisco, California, United States, Thursday, September 16, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Following two key inflation reports this week that showed lingering price pressures at wholesale and consumer levels, the government is expected to report retail sales at 8:30 am ET. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect overall retail sales for September to have fallen 0.2% after rising 0.7% the month before. Retail sales, excluding autos, are expected to have increased 0.5% from a 1.8% advance in August. The data will follow the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s September meeting. According to the minutes of its September meeting, the central bank could start reducing its purchases of Covid-era bonds as early as mid-November, as the economy recovers. The next Fed meeting is scheduled for November 2-3, with the last meeting of this year scheduled for December 14-15.

4. An FDA panel will meet on the J&J booster after recommending Moderna

A nurse fills a syringe with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Covid-19 vaccine at a clinic hosted by The Tournament of Roses in partnership with the Pasadena Public Health Department on August 19, 2021 at Tournament House in Pasadena, California.

Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee is scheduled to meet on Friday to review a booster shot of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid vaccine and data on mixing and matching of injections. On Thursday, the panel unanimously recommended giving a booster of the two-dose Covid vaccine of Moderna to people 65 years of age and older and other vulnerable adults. The non-binding decision would align guidelines for Moderna on a third injection of Pfizer’s vaccine. A final FDA decision on Moderna boosters could be made within days of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention review.

5. Virgin Galactic sinks 20% after delaying commercial service

Sir Richard Branson, left, in space alongside mission specialists Sirisha Bandla and Beth Moses on July 11, 2021.

Galactic Virgo

Virgin Galactic is delaying the launch of its commercial space tourism service until the fourth quarter of 2022. Shares of Richard Branson’s space company plunged 20% into the pre-market. Virgin Galactic will begin renovating and upgrading its spacecraft and carrier aircraft this month, rather than performing its next space flight test. The company’s improvement process, which is expected to take eight to 10 months, makes mid-2022 the earliest for the Unity 23 spaceflight. Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration cleared Virgin Galactic to resume flight. after an investigation into the July space flight that transported Branson.

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