Traders work on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 14, 2022.
Andrew Kelly | Reuters
Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
1. Desperately seeking Santa
Ho ho ho? More like, no no no. It’s been a terrible week for stocks, and hopes of a Santa Claus rally are fading. U.S. equities are on the verge of their second straight losing week. Markets fell steeply Thursday as investors digested Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s hawkish remarks and outlook from the day before. Sluggish retail sales heading into the holidays didn’t help, either, even though they indicated a slowing economy, which is what the Fed wants as it tries to beat back inflation. Instead, it’s shaping up to be an environment where the Fed keeps rates higher for a longer period of time, regardless of what happens in the next few months. Read live markets updates here.
2. Twitter targets journalists
STR | Nurphoto | Getty Images
Twitter suspended the accounts of several journalists and commentators who report on the company and its owner, billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk. As of Thursday night, the social media platform had suspended the accounts of Ryan Mac of The New York Times, Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, Matt Binder of Mashable, Micah Lee of The Intercept, Steve Herman of Voice of America, as well as independent figures Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann and Tony Webster. Musk, who has billed himself as a “free speech absolutist,” suggested on Twitter that the journalist suspensions were in the same vein of discipline against accounts that track flights, including one that followed the CEO’s private jet’s whereabouts.
3. U.S. squeezes Chinese chipmaker
Semiconductor chips are seen on a circuit board of a computer in this illustration picture taken February 25, 2022.
Florence Lo | Reuters
The Biden administration on Thursday unveiled restrictions against several, mostly Chinese entities, including a chipmaker, over national security concerns. The chip company, Yangtze Memory Technologies Corporation, or YMTC, was already on a U.S. trade blacklist. The action aims to hamper China’s ability to use “artificial intelligence, advanced computing, and other powerful, commercially available technologies for military modernization and human rights abuses,” according to a Commerce Department official. The move also comes as the administration attempts to beef up semiconductor manufacturing on U.S. soil.
4. Adobe delivers
Low-angle view of sign with logo on facade at office of computer software company Adobe in the South of Market (SoMA) neighborhood of San Francisco, California, June 10, 2019.
Smith Collection/gado | Archive Photos | Getty Images
Adobe posted quarterly earnings Thursday that topped analysts’ expectations, while the design software maker stuck with its forecast for the full fiscal year. The stock rose on the positive news, although it’s down more than 40% on the year, much steeper than the decline in the broad S&P 500 index. “We delivered record operating cash flows with a focus on profitability,” Adobe’s CEO, Shantanu Narayen, said on an earnings call. Yet he also warned that a slowing economy could hurt the company, and that Adobe would operate with caution.
5. Flipped off
A not-so-surprising casualty of the rapid cooling in the housing market is the home-flipping segment. Profit from flips, defined as when a house is bought and sold within a 12-month window, fell 18.4% in the third quarter from the second. That’s the biggest quarterly decline in over a decade, according to real estate data provider ATTOM. It’s a double whammy for house flippers: home prices are still high, but they’re quickly easing, while renovation costs have also soared. “With demand from buyers weakening, prices trending down over the past few months, and financing rates significantly higher than they were at the beginning of the year, flippers face a much more difficult environment today, and probably will in 2023 as well,” Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM, said in a release.
– CNBC’s Alex Harring, Kevin Breuninger, Jordan Novet and Diana Olick contributed to this report.
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