5 Things to Know Before Markets Open

News of the day for March 7, 2023

JetBlue Plane

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Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will testify before the Senate Banking Committee on monetary policy, JetBlue's $3.8 billion bid for Spirit faces regulatory opposition, and Altria Group buys startup NJOY for about $2.75 billion. Here’s what investors need to know today.

1. Fed Chair Powell to Testify Before the Senate Banking Committee

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to testify before the Senate Banking Committee today and the House Financial Services Committee tomorrow on monetary policy and the state of the economy. He's expected to tell Congress that the central bank will keep hiking its benchmark interest rate to bring inflation under control—a message that might not go over well with some lawmakers. 

2. JetBlue's $3.8 Billion Bid for Spirit Airlines Faces DOJ Opposition

Spirit Airlines (SAVE) shares sank over 8% yesterday on reports the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Transportation (DOT) are expected to file a lawsuit as soon this week to block JetBlue's $3.8 billion deal to buy Spirit. The DOJ’s lawsuit is expected to allege that the deal would increase ticket prices and diminish options for travelers. JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said he will fight the lawsuits.

3. Weight Watchers Buys Sequence for $132 Million

Shares of WW International (WW), known as Weight Watchers, rose 11% after it announced it is buying digital health company Sequence for $132 million. The move marks the diet company’s move into the market for diabetes drugs including Ozempic and Wegovy.

4. Altria Group Buys NJOY for About $2.75 Billion

Altria Group said it would buy startup NJOY for about $2.75 billion in cash, in a fresh bet by the maker of Marlboro cigarettes in the e-cigarette market after losing billions of dollars through its investment in Juul. NJOY could offer Altria an easier way to tap the market since six of the company’s products have received full approval from the FDA.

5. Crypto Bank Silvergate Discontinues Its Interbank Transfer Network

Silvergate Capital (SI) shares fell another 6% after the bank suspended its cryptocurrency payments network and expressed doubts over the viability of its business. Silvergate said it had made a “risk-based decision” to discontinue the Silvergate Exchange Network effective immediately after the bank has suffered losses of deposits and partnerships.

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  1. Bloomberg. “JetBlue Prepares for Decision on Spirit Merger as DOJ Review Is Almost Done.”

  2. Wall Street Journal. “WeightWatchers Moves Into the Ozempic Market With Telehealth Deal.”

  3. Reuters. “Altria to revive vaping push with $2.8 bln NJOY bid after Juul fiasco.”

  4. Barron’s. “Silvergate Discontinues a Key Service. It’s a Big Deal.”

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