Before the Bell: Bed Bath & Begone, Chile Nationalizes Lithium, Cybertruck Competitor

Premarket action on Monday had the three major U.S. indexes trading lower. The Dow Jones industrials were down 0.24%, the S&P 500 down 0.23% and the Nasdaq down 0.18%.

Six of 11 market sectors closed higher on Friday. Consumer cyclicals (1.00%) and consumer staples (0.75%) posted the day’s best gains. Materials (−0.91%) and energy (−0.59%) put up the biggest losses. The Dow closed up 0.07%, the S&P 500 up 0.09% and the Nasdaq Composite up 0.11% on Friday.

Two-year Treasuries added three basis points to end Friday at 4.17%, and 10-year notes also rose by three basis points to close at 3.57%. In Monday’s premarket, two-year notes were trading at around 4.17% and 10-year notes at about 3.54%.

Friday’s trading volume was about equal to the five-day average. New York Stock Exchange losers outpaced winners by 1,612 to 1,350, while Nasdaq decliners led advancers by about 8 to 7.

Before U.S. markets open on Monday, three companies are scheduled to report quarterly results. Later this week, the advance report on first-quarter gross domestic product is due, and the report on personal income and spending is due out Friday. Economists are looking for GDP growth of 2.3%, down from growth of 2.6% in the prior quarter, and a 0.3% increase in the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) core price index, equal to the increase in February.

Friday’s best performer among S&P 500 companies was medical equipment maker Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX), which added 4.72% to its share price. The company had no specific news. Baxter reports quarterly earnings early Thursday.

Lithium miners Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (NYSE: SQM) and Albemarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB) dropped 18% and 10%, respectively, on Friday, following an announcement from the government of Chile that the country now plans to create a state-owned lithium company to develop Chile’s vast lithium resources. The state company will take a majority stake in private companies in “the entire productive process” of lithium.

The other shoe finally has dropped for Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NYSE: BBBY). On Sunday, the home goods retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a move that may have been a long time coming but was inevitable. A last-minute attempt to conduct a reverse stock split was scheduled for May 9, but that is now moot.

Even before Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) can kick out its first Cybertruck, California-based EV startup EdisonFuture has a look-alike. The 2025 model year EF1-T pickup is expected to release a base model with a 300-mile range and additional models with ranges of 380 and 450 miles. Unlike Tesla’s Cybertruck, the EF1-T and its partner EF1-V electric delivery van, include optional solar panels on the roof of the vehicles that can expand the range by about 35 miles. No word on pricing. The EF1-T was launched at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November.

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