5 things to know before the stock market opens Tuesday

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

  • Dow futures pop on Walmart and Home Depot strength
  • Three big retailers beat Q1 earnings expectations
  • Amazon reportedly in talks to buy MGM Studios for up to $9 billion
  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire builds new Aon stake, boosts Kroger
  • Michael Burry of ‘The Big Short’ reveals a bet against Tesla

1. Dow futures pop on Walmart, Home Depot strength

The Dow was set to rise Tuesday, supported by gains in Walmart and Home Depot, two of the components in the 30-stock average. Tech stocks recovered in the premarket a day after they led Wall Street lower amid worries about last week's inflation report. In their worst weekly performances since February, the Dow and S&P 500 saw declines last week of more than 1% each and the Nasdaq sank over 2%.

2. Three big retailers beat Q1 earnings expectations

Walmart's first-quarter earnings surged past estimates on strong grocery sales and e-commerce growth. The retailer said more shoppers headed to its stores and website to spend stimulus checks and to get ready to socialize again as Covid cases decline and vaccination rates rise. Per-share profit was $1.69. Revenue grew by nearly 3% to $138.31 billion. Walmart raised its outlook for the year.

Home Depot beat first-quarter earnings and revenue expectations as consumers' splurging on their homes lingered more than a year into the pandemic. Net sales rose nearly 33% to $37.5 billion. Per-share profit was $3.86. Home Depot has not released an outlook for fiscal 2021.

Shares of Macy's jumped roughly 5% in Tuesday's premarket, shortly after the department store chain reported a surprise first-quarter profit, as stimulus checks and the vaccine rollout gave consumers more money and greater confidence to head back to the mall and refresh their wardrobes. Better-than-expected Q1 revenue soared 56% to $4.71 billion. Macy's also hiked its financial outlook for the full year.

3. Amazon reportedly in talks to buy MGM Studios for up to $9 billion

Amazon, looking to beef up its video library, is in talks to buy the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in a deal worth as much as $9 billion, according to multiple media reports. MGM's movie and TV treasure trove includes the James Bond and Rocky franchises as well as "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Fargo." These talks, first reported by The Information, surfaced after AT&T agreed to break out its WarnerMedia movie and television unit in a merger with Discovery.

4. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway builds new Aon stake, boosts Kroger

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway made several changes to its stock portfolio last quarter, including adding a new bet on British insurance company Aon and increasing its stake in supermarket owner Kroger, a new regulatory filing showed. Berkshire also added to its relatively new Verizon position and cut its stake in Chevron, another new bet. Apple remained the single largest holding in Berkshire's stock portfolio.

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5. Michael Burry of ‘The Big Short’ reveals a bet against Tesla

The investor Michael Burry on Monday revealed in a regulatory filing a short position against Tesla worth more than half a billion dollars. Burry, whose firm is Scion Asset Management, shot to fame by betting against mortgage securities before the 2008 financial crisis. Burry was depicted in Michael Lewis' book "The Big Short" and the subsequent Oscar-winning movie of the same name. Tesla shares have had a turbulent 2021, down 18% as of Monday's close and off nearly 36% from their all-time high of $900 on Jan. 25.

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