5 things to know before the stock market opens Tuesday

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

  • Wall Street under pressure after Dow, S&P 500 close at records
  • Home Depot, Walmart report strong earnings but their stocks react differently
  • Amazon gets into the pharmacy business with online prescription fulfillment
  • Tech CEOs to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing
  • Biden says 'more people may die' from Covid-19 if Trump continues to stonewall

1. Wall Street under pressure after Dow, S&P 500 close at records

Dow futures pointed to a more than 250 point drop at Tuesday's open after two stocks in the index, Home Depot and Walmart, reported strong earnings but saw mixed stock moves. Tesla was on track to be the big winner of the day, with shares soaring more than 12% after Monday's announcement that the electric-auto maker will be added to the S&P 500 before trading on Monday, Dec. 21.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 470 points on positive Covid-19 vaccine data from Moderna, closing Monday at a record high and less than 50 points away from hitting 30,000 for the first time ever. The S&P 500 also ended at a record, while the Nasdaq's gain Monday put the index about 1% away from closing at a record. The government Tuesday reported October retail sales rose a smaller-than-expected 0.3%

2. Home Depot, Walmart report strong earnings but their stocks react differently

Shares of Home Depot fell 2% in the premarket despite the company Tuesday reporting third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat estimates as consumers continued to focus on home improvement during the coronavirus pandemic. Sales surged 24%. Brian Nagel, senior analyst at Oppenheimer, on CNBC attributed the stock move to concerns that Home Depot's gains during the Covid-19 crisis may not be sustainable.

Shares of Walmart rose about 1% in the premarket after the retailing giant Tuesday reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and revenue, with U.S. e-commerce sales soaring by 79%. Total revenue grew by 5%. Walmart has been one of the beneficiaries of stay-at-home trends during the pandemic as people stockpile groceries and cleaning supplies and buy things to pass the time, from puzzles to bicycles.

3. Amazon gets into the pharmacy business with online prescription fulfillment

Amazon announced Tuesday that it's entering the pharmacy business with a new offering called Amazon Pharmacy. It allows customers in the United States to order prescription medications for home delivery, including free delivery for Amazon Prime members. The company has been quietly building out its pharmacy business for several years after ramping up internal discussions in 2017 and acquiring PillPack in 2018. Amazon Pharmacy threatens the dominance of traditional pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens. Those stocks were under severe pressure in the premarket. Amazon's offering will also compete against other large retailers that offer pharmacy services, including Walmart.

4. Tech CEOs to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing

The CEOs of Facebook and Twitter are set to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey, appearing by video, will be questioned about the actions at their social networks around the presidential election. Facebook and Twitter have both put misinformation labels on some unfounded posts from President Donald Trump. However, Zuckerberg and Dorsey will face some GOP senators, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, who have refused to knock down Trump's false claims of voter fraud and that he won. Democrat Joe Biden was declared the winner.

5. Biden says 'more people may die' from Covid-19 if Trump continues to stonewall

President-elect Biden said Monday that "more people may die" from Covid-19 if the Trump administration fails to begin coordinating on how to vaccinate more than 300 million Americans. As Trump disputes the election result, the White House has stonewalled the transition process, including work on combating the coronavirus' third spike of the pandemic. Biden also told reporters Monday that he "wouldn't hesitate" to get vaccinated against the virus.

As federal officials freeze out Biden, states from California to Pennsylvania are again ramping up Covid-19 mitigation measures, hoping to slow the record-setting resurgence of cases heading into the busy Thanksgiving travel season. The seven-day average of new daily U.S. infections topped 150,000 for the first time, with 29 states reporting their worst stretch of cases. As of Monday, a record 73,014 people were hospitalized with Covid-19.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all the developments on Wall Street in real-time with CNBC's live markets blog. Get the latest on the pandemic with our coronavirus blog.

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