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08 Feb, Wednesday
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Bull Trader USA

5 things to know before the stock market opens Tuesday

Trader on the floor of the NYSE, Oct. 28, 2022.
Source: NYSE

Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:

1. Looking ahead

October was a volatile but ultimately successful time for stocks. The Dow rose nearly 14%, the composite’s best month since January 1976, when Gerald Ford was president and months before the original “Rocky” hit movie theaters. The Nasdaq even shrugged off some bleak earnings from Big Tech to finish in the green. But time marches on, and there are still more earnings ahead this season. This week, though, is mostly about the Federal Reserve. The central bank’s top policymakers will likely raise rates by another three-quarters of a point in their battle against high inflation. That’s baked in, though. It’s the forward-looking stuff in the Fed’s announcement Wednesday that will likely move markets – and investors are eager for any sign that Jerome Powell and crew are thinking about easing off their plans. Read live market updates here.

2. Homebuilders see a ‘cliff’

A man carries siding into a house at a new home construction site in Trappe, Maryland, on October 28, 2022.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

Homebuilders who thrived during the earlier days of the Covid pandemic are now experiencing a suddenly cooler market, due to skyrocketing mortgage rates. Home prices have already cooled, sellers have become more reluctant to part ways with their low rates, and buyers are spooked by high prices and surging rates. That adds up to a dire 2023, according to some homebuilders. “There’s this cliff that’s happening in January,” said Gene Myers, CEO of Denver-area Thrive Homebuilders. “Any hope of a soft landing really evaporated last spring, when it became so clear that our customers who are accustomed to such low mortgage rates just were going to go on strike.”

3. One for the books

The Penguin logo is visible on the spines of books displayed on a shelf at Book Passage on Nov. 2, 2021 in Corte Madera, California. The U.S. Department of Justice is suing Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster to block the companies from completing a merger valued at $2.175 billion.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Chalk one up for the Biden administration and its skepticism of super mergers. (Kroger and Albertsons, take note.) A federal judge on Monday blocked Penguin Random House’s proposed $2.2 billion takeover of rival publisher Simon & Schuster, which is owned by Paramount Globaltweeted Halloween night.

4. Big profits for Big Oil

Saudi Aramco said strong market conditions helped to push its second quarter net income to $48.4 billion, up from $25.5 billion a year earlier.
Maxim Shemetov | Reuters

Two more oil giants posted blockbuster third quarter earnings Tuesday morning as the industry benefits from higher commodities prices. Britain’s BPprofit for the period was more than double what it was during the prior-year quarter, easily beating analysts’ expectations. Saudi Aramco’s bottom line also beat expectations, growing to $42.4 billion in the quarter from $30.4 billion during the previous year’s period. The companies’ results come after Shell, Exxon, Chevron and other energy titans posted similarly stellar earnings as consumers across the globe contend with higher fuel prices and inflated cost of living expenses.

Read more: Biden threatens higher taxes on oil companies if they do not work to lower gas prices

5. Ukraine finds Russian torture chambers

The entrance to a basement allegedly used as a torture chamber in a house where prisoners were held, discovered by Ukrainian police in the center of Pisky Radkivsky, Ukraine, on Oct. 6, 2022.
The Washington Post | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Ukrainian police said they uncovered 34 locations they believe Russian forces used as torture chambers and illegal prisons in formerly occupied areas of the country. Ukraine has accused Russia of widespread war crimes, even as the Kremlin denies that it has targeted civilians, despite evidence to the contrary. Ukraine has initiated 40,742 war crimes cases against Russian soldiers and accomplices as of Monday. Read live war updates here.

– CNBC’s Alex Harring, Diana Olick, Sam Meredith, Natasha Turak and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.

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