Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Here are the most important news items investors need to start their trading day:
1. Busy week weather
Markets don’t look much clearer now that we’re past the doldrums in a busy earnings week. The three major indices were mixed on Wednesday. The Dow posted a fourth consecutive winning session, just barely, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 snapped their three-day winning streak. The future didn’t look so clear Thursday morning, either. Investors are largely chewing over forecasts from several Big Tech earnings that have already reported this week, including Microsoft, Alphabet and Meta (more on that below). There are two more majors coming up on Thursday as well, with Apple and Amazon due to report after the clock. There’s another Fed meeting next week, too, which means another big rate hike is on the way (see below). Read live market updates here.
2. If a stock falls in the metric…
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shows off an Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset and Oculus Touch controllers during the Oculus Connect 3 event in San Jose, California, U.S., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg | Getty Images
… can you still lose money on it? You bet. Wall Street had low expectations for Meta’s quarterly earnings, and Meta pass them, on the wrong side, sending the stock down 20% in trading outside of hours. Parent company Facebook lost profit badly, as did its average revenue per user, and revenue declined for two straight quarters. What’s worse is that Meta expects another revenue decline in the current quarter, issuing guidance that was largely lower than what analysts were projecting. The advertising environment is rough, as we’ve already seen with Alphabet and Snap, and Meta is also feeling the pinch. Moreover, CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to continue the big spending spree despite that part of the business, Reality Labs, already losing $9.4 billion this year, with more losses to come – as his income decreases.
3. Missiles hit Kyiv
This photo shows Freedom Square in Kyiv during a rolling blackout in parts of the Ukrainian capital’s districts following two weeks of rocket attacks on critical infrastructure, on October 24, 2022, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Sergei Supinsky AFP | Getty Images
Russian missiles again hit the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, as Vladimir Putin pressed his attacks from the sky as his forces tried to regroup on the ground. The Russians also conquered the Zaporizhzhia region, home to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, a top Russian official warned that Kremlin forces could target US commercial satellites, which already provided images of Russian troops and formations. Read live war updates here.
4. Powell under pressure
U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell leaves after holding a news conference after the Federal Reserve raised its target interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point in Washington, Sept. 21, 2022.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
There are only two weeks until Election Day, when Americans will decide the balance of power in Congress. Again the economy is the biggest concern for voters as Covid concerns subside and prices rise at levels not seen in four decades. The Federal Reserve has had little luck so far in slowing inflation with big interest rate hikes, even as critics warn that the central bank’s actions threaten a recession. And now there is one of the best Democrats in the Senate, Sherrod Brown from Ohio to warn FED Chairman Jerome Powell that the Fed’s actions could lead to job losses. “Your job is to fight inflation, but at the same time you cannot lose your responsibility to make sure we have full employment,” Brown wrote to Powell. The Fed is expected to announce another three-quarter point rate hike at next week’s meeting, just days before the election.
5. Sink or swim time
Elon Musk’s Twitter profile is seen on a smartphone superimposed on Twitter logos printed in this photo illustration taken on April 28, 2022.
Dad Ruvic | Reuters
Elon Musk showed on Wednesday at Twitter headquarters and sink in his hands, enough just so he could do to “let that sink in” pound on, you guessed it, Twitter. All signs are pointing to the billionaire Tesla CEO closing his $44 billion deal to take the social media company private just in time for a court-appointed deadline on Friday. Musk’s takeover will end a month-long saga that included him hitting the market at $54.20 a share, walking away as Twitter sued him to complete the deal. Now the question is, what will Musk really do with Twitter? We’ll just have to see what’s next for the self-described “Chief Twit.”
– CNBC’s Samantha Subin, Jonathan Vanian, Natasha Turak, Jeff Cox and Lauren Feiner contributed to this report.
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