5 things to know before the stock market opens on Thursday, February 16th
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Here is the key news investors need to start their trading day:
1. Muddling through
The bulls are struggling through an inconclusive week. Retail sales came in hotter-than-expected on Wednesday, which in theory should stoke fears that the Federal Reserve will continue to hike rates until morale, err, inflation improves. But shares still ended the day higher, albeit not by large margins. Investors will be chewing on more economic data on Thursday: the January Producer Price Index report, which measures wholesale inflation; weekly unemployment claims; and living begins. Follow live market updates.
2. Electrical concerns
Ford workers produce the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck December 13, 2022 at the automaker’s Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center (REVC).
Michael Wayland | CNBC
ford halted production and shipments of its F-150 Lightning all-electric pickup after one of the vehicles caught fire earlier this month due to a battery problem, the company announced late Wednesday. Ford said it believes engineers have determined the cause of the fire and expects an investigation into the matter to be completed by the end of next week. Then, Ford said, it would make adjustments to the battery production process, which “could take a few weeks.” The developments come at a difficult time for Ford, which is trying to turn its business around after a net loss for 2022 while also shifting to electric vehicles.
3. Cisco comes through
A sign with the logo of communications and security technology giant Cisco Systems Inc is seen outside one of its offices in San Jose, California, August 11, 2022.
Paresh Dave | Reuters
Computer Networking Company CiscoStock of has had a decent bounce in after-hours trading after a strong earnings report. The company hit both sales and earnings while raising its guidance for the year. Cisco also said some of its logistics costs have fallen. Demand is also resilient, according to Cisco, even as other tech companies struggle with falling demand for computers and pressure from a collapsing advertising market. The company also reported some difficulties. For example, hardware and software backlogs are still much higher than usual, due to limited supply availability, according to CFO Scott Herren.
4. Here’s who helped SBF get out on bail
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, charged with fraud in the collapse of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, is leaving the company after a hearing in Manhattan federal court in New York City on January 3, 2023.
Andrew Kelly | Reuters
Accused FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried secured his bail with the help of two Stanford University academics. One of them, Stanford Law School dean emeritus Larry Kramer, said he is close to SBF’s mother and father, who are law school professors. “Joe Bankman and Barbara Fried have been close friends of my wife and I since the mid-1990s,” Kramer told CNBC. Andreas Paepcke, a research scientist at the school, was the other guarantor whose name was being kept under wraps until a federal judge ruled otherwise at the request of multiple media outlets, including CNBC. Paepcke did not respond to a request for comment. SBF, who has been charged with extensive fraud and conspiracy counts, was released on $250 million bond in December. His parents also acted as guarantors.
5. Sanders vs. Schultz
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L), Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz
Reuters (L) | Getty Images (R)
Howard Schultz will resign soon as Starbucks CEO – for a third time – but Senator Bernie Sanders still wants to bring him before lawmakers after the executive branch declined an invitation to testify next month. While Sanders didn’t directly say he would attempt to subpoena Schultz, he did hint that it might be in the works. “One way or another, he’s going to be there,” the senator told reporters Wednesday. Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist who favors unions, chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The panel has scheduled a hearing on Starbucks labor practices for March 9. Schultz, who is also a large shareholder in the coffee giant, has spearheaded Starbucks’ efforts to counter a union push among its baristas, despite the company announcing progressive initiatives.
– CNBC’s Sarah Min, Michael Wayland, Jordan Novet, Rohan Goswami and Amelia Lucas contributed to this report.
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