By Joe Wallace 

Here's what we're watching ahead of the opening bell on Wednesday.

-- U.S. stock futures are slipping as investors react to early results from Georgia's runoff elections. Nasdaq-100 futures are taking the biggest hit, off 1.5% on expectations that a Democratic-controlled Senate would lead to tighter regulations on tech giants.

Government bonds sold off too, pushing the yield on 10-year Treasurys above 1% for the first time since March. Read our full market wrap here.

What's Coming Up

-- The Federal Reserve will release minutes of its December policy meeting at 2 p.m. ET. The central bank said at the time that large-scale purchases of government debt and mortgage securities would continue "until substantial further progress has been made" toward broader employment and inflation goals.

-- The Energy Information Administration will report how much oil was in storage in the U.S. last week at 10:30 a.m. Crude supplies are expected to have fallen. Benchmark U.S. crude futures are back above $50 a barrel after breaching that level on Tuesday for the first time since last February on Saudi Arabia's decision to cut extra barrels of output.

-- Costco Wholesale is due to report December sales results at 4:15 p.m. The warehouse chain enjoyed a bounce in sales to homebound Americans last year.

Market Movers to Watch

-- Tech stocks including Facebook, Google-owner Alphabet and Netflix are all down in premarket trading. President-elect Joe Biden has promised greater scrutiny of tech giants that have powered the stock-market rally in recent years.

-- AmerisourceBergen's stock jumped 4.1% after the drug company agreed to buy the majority of Walgreens Boots Alliance's Alliance Healthcare businesses. Amerisource said it would pay $6.275 billion in cash and issue 2 million shares to Walgreens in exchange for European pharmaceutical wholesaler Alliance. Walgreens shares rose 2.3%.

-- UnitedHealth slipped 2% after agreeing to buy health care-technology firm Change Healthcare for about $7.84 billion in cash.

-- Tesla shares rose 3.2% ahead of the bell in New York. Analysts at Morgan Stanley bumped up their price target for the stock to $810, from $540, after the electric carmaker reported a record number of vehicle deliveries last year. Tesla shares closed at $735.11 Tuesday.

-- Shares of Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and other major lenders are also on the rise. A Democratic-controlled Washington would boost the possibility of more fiscal stimulus, says Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors. That prospect is lifting bond yields, which tends to boost the profitability of banks' lending books.

-- Moderna shares traded 3.6% higher premarket. The European Union's main drug regulator cleared the company's vaccine for use, offering the region a second shot to fight coronavirus.

-- Shares in auto-equipment retailer O'Reilly Automotive dropped more than 7% premarket.

-- Freeport-McMoRan shares rose 3.5%, suggesting the mining stock will extend a rally dating back to March. Freeport has benefited from surging copper prices.

Market Fact

One sign of improving investor sentiment: Expectations for annual inflation over the next decade climbed above 2% this week for the first time since 2018. That rate, derived from the difference between nominal and inflation-protected Treasury yields, had fallen as low as 0.5% in March.

Chart of the Day

Investors betting on a continued economic rebound are increasingly looking beyond U.S. stocks. Investing in U.S. stocks, they say, has increasingly become a concentrated bet on the technology sector, which contributed more than half of the S&P 500's 18% total return last year.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 06, 2021 09:06 ET (14:06 GMT)

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