5 things you need to know before the stock market opens on Wednesday, December 7

Traders on the NYSE floor

Source: NYSE

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

1. Can stocks go over the top?

US stock markets went into a deep funk on Tuesday. After heavy losses on Monday, stocks fell again on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq down 2%, the S&P 500 down 1.4% and the Dow down more than 1%. Investors have grown increasingly concerned that the Federal Reserve may hold off on inflation-fighting rate hikes for longer than expected, despite China’s easing of Covid restrictions that should boost that country’s economy. Fed policymakers are set to raise interest rates by another half percentage point when they meet next week. Read live updates here.

2. View from above

Another prospect on investors’ minds? The potential for a recession next year, especially as the Fed works to cool the economy. Several of America’s top CEOs appeared on CNBC on Tuesday to weigh in on the possibility of a slowdown. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said a number of factors, including geopolitical crises and continued interest rate hikes, “could derail the economy and lead to this soft and hard recession that people are worried about.” Walmart CEO Doug McMillion, meanwhile, said a recession may be needed to lower inflation. GM CEO Mary Barra said the automaker plans to be “fairly conservative” in 2023, though she wouldn’t make a call on whether there will be a recession.

3. Warnock beats Walker

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – DECEMBER 06: Georgia Democratic Senate candidate U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) speaks during an election night party at the Marriott Marquis on December 6, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. Senator Warnock defeated his Republican challenger Herschel Walker in the runoff tonight. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Win Mcnamee | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Sen. Raphael Warnock made history Tuesday night by becoming the first full-term black U.S. senator elected by Georgia. His runoff win against Republican nominee and former football star Herschel Walker — who has the support of former President Donald Trump — also gave Democrats a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, giving them more leverage and more exclamation points. a better-than-expected midterm election cycle for the party. Democrats narrowly lost the House, but actually gained a seat in the Senate. Usually, the incumbent’s party suffers major losses during midterm elections. Now that President Joe Biden will likely be unable to advance his legislative agenda for the next two years, he will have an easier time confirming judges and Cabinet appointments.

Read more: The Trump Organization was found guilty of criminal tax fraud

4. Major auto union vote

UAW Local 5960 member Kimberly Fuhr inspects a Chevrolet Bolt EV during vehicle production Thursday, May 6, 2021, at the General Motors Orion Assembly Plant in Orion, Michigan.

Steve Fecht for Chevrolet

This is a first for the United Auto Workers. On Wednesday and Thursday, the union will vote to organize about 900 workers at an electric vehicle battery plant in Ohio, a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution. Workers are expected to vote in favor of the organization, which could help the UAW set a precedent for labor as the auto industry moves toward producing EVs and away from gasoline-powered cars. “If they can show that the workers there trust the union, then they can put more pressure on other battery plants to follow suit,” Cornell University labor professor Art Wheaton told CNBC. GM-LG Energy Solution joint venture Ultium plans to build at least four more battery plants, while rivals Ford and Stellantis have battery plant plans of their own.

5. Fierce fighting in Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldier is seen in the trenches on the Bakhmut front on December 04, 2022 in Donetsk, Ukraine.

Anatolia Agency | Anatolia Agency | Getty Images

Ukrainian and Russian forces are engaged in fierce trench warfare in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. The Russians are trying to capture the small town of Bakhmut in the south-east of the country after the Ukrainian military advanced on the battlefield for months. Meanwhile, Ukraine has yet to officially claim credit for the drone strikes on bases inside Russian borders. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken similarly said that the Biden administration neither encouraged nor allowed Ukraine to strike inside Russia. Read live war updates here.

— CNBC’s Tanaya Macheel, Rebecca Picciotto, Kevin Breuninger, Michael Wayland and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.

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