Ransomware attack; Trump setback; Stress tests

1. Global malware attack: A massive ransomware attack hit businesses around the world on Tuesday, causing major companies to shut down their computer systems.

Big global brands including Mondelez and WPP said their IT systems were experiencing problems.

Researchers said the attack appears to be more sophisticated than the WannaCry worm that struck hundreds of thousands of computers across the globe last month.

2. Stress tests: The U.S. Federal Reserve will disclose if 34 of the country’s banks will be granted permission to buy back stock or pay dividends to shareholders.

The verdict is part of the Fed’s yearly financial health checkup to determine if banks are strong enough to weather a severe financial crisis while still being able to continue to lend to consumers and businesses.

All of the banks passed the first round of tests last week.

3. Trump setback: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday he would postpone a vote on a bill to repeal Obamacare.

The move came less than a day after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office announced that 22 million more Americans would be uninsured over the next decade if the Republican Senate bill became law.

4. Nestle buyback: The Swiss-based global food giant announced a share buyback program of up to 20 billion Swiss francs ($21 billion) on Tuesday.

The announcement came just two days after Hedge fund star Dan Loeb revealed that his fund, Third Point, had taken a $3.5 billion stake in Nestle.

Leob said he would push for a new strategy to help the company improve its sales and profitability.

Nestle’s share climbed over 1% early on Wednesday.

5. Global market overview: U.S. stock futures were lower early on Wednesday.

European markets and most major markets in Asia were also down.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed 0.5% lower on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 lost 0.8%. The Nasdaq shed 1.6%.

6. Stock market movers — Darden restaurants; Tiffany & Co: Darden Restaurant, the owner of the popular Italian restaurant chain Olive Garden, was up in extended trading after it reported a healthy jump in sales in its most recent quarter.

Shares in Tiffany & Co were also higher after analysts at Bank of America included the jewelry maker in its top stock picks.

7. Earnings and economics: General Mills and Monsanto will release earnings before the open Wednesday, while Pier 1 Imports will follow after the close.

The latest report on U.S. crude inventories is set to be released at 10:30 a.m. ET. Analysts expect that stockpiles declined sharply last week.

Oil was trading 0.6% lower at below $44 per barrel.

8. Coming this week:

Wednesday — Monsanto earnings; Mobile World Congress Shanghai; Toshiba shareholders meeting; U.S. crude inventories data
Thursday — U.K. ruling on Fox-Sky deal; Nike earnings; U.S. GDP report
Friday — Personal income and spending data; the University of Michigan consumer confidence survey, China official manufacturing PMI

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