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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 29, 2022 in New York City.

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

1. Price increase clock

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will speak at the Brookings Institution today, and investors will be listening for any hints that the central bank may slow or stop raising interest rates. After four straight 0.75 percentage point hikes to tame high inflation, many expect a smaller 0.5 percentage point increase at the Fed’s meeting next month. A pause or reversal in rate hikes is likely to push markets higher. Stock futures rose ahead of Powell’s speech and the market awaited other economic data due on Wednesday, including the ADP private payrolls report and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

2. Tesla’s market share is declining

Visitors view the Tesla Model S at the automobile exhibition area of ​​the 5th China International Import Expo on November 7, 2022 in Shanghai, China.

CFOTO | Future Publishing | Getty Images

As the electric car market tightens, Tesla’s lead in the US is shrinking. According to S&P Global Mobility, the company’s vehicles accounted for 65% of new electric vehicle registrations during the third quarter, up from 71% last year and 79% in 2020. By 2025, the company predicts this number will drop below 20%. Despite the declines, Tesla’s sales volume is still expected to increase in the coming years as the popularity of electric vehicles increases. And there’s plenty of room to grow. Currently, only 5.1% of the more than 10 million vehicles registered in the United States are electric models.

3. Railway strike deadline is coming up

CSX Transportation freight trains sit parked at a rail yard in September during the initial threat of a potential freight railroad workers’ union strike.

The Washington Post | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Congressional leaders are moving to pass a preliminary contract agreement for railroad workers ahead of next month’s holiday deadline. President Joe Biden called on Congress to step in after talks between railroads and four unions broke down on paid sick days. Biden said the unions did not want to overturn the vote against the contract, but that closing the railroad would “destroy” the economy. The House of Representatives is expected to take up a bill to pass the deal on Wednesday. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, has also promised to take swift action in the Senate.

4. Kroger, Albertsons CEOs on hot seat

Albertsons and Kroger supermarkets

Bridget Bennett | Bloomberg | Getty Images; Brandon Bell | Getty Images

The chief executives of the two grocery companies faced a series of questions in congressional hearings about how their proposed merger could change the competitive landscape and the prices consumers pay at the store. Lawmakers noted that the proposed deal comes at a time when groceries are taking up more of American families’ budgets and inflation is driving up the prices of everyday items. Kroger and Albertsons leaders said combining their companies would help their ability to lower food prices and remain competitive at a time when the industry is undergoing dramatic changes. “The best way to compete with megastores like Walmart and highly capitalized online companies like Amazon is to merge with Kroger,” Albertsons CEO Vivek Sankaran said at the hearing.

5. Hope for BlockFi?

This photo illustration shows the BlockFi logo on a smartphone.

Rafael Henrique | Stick Pictures | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Lawyers for cryptocurrency lender BlockFi expressed optimism that the firm is in a good position to save its business. A day after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, BlockFi lawyers said in a court hearing Tuesday that they plan to reopen the withdrawals as part of the company’s efforts to “maximize customer recovery.” The company’s collapse resulted in exposure to FTX trading arm Alameda Research, which borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from BlockFi, and Three Arrows Capital, which filed for bankruptcy protection in July. Exposure to both firms led to a pushback from customers, but lawyers said FTX’s plan to acquire BlockFi ultimately drove it into bankruptcy proceedings.

– CNBC’s Carmen Reinicke, Michael Wayland, Lora Kolodny, Lori Ann LaRocco, Melissa Repko, Rohan Goswami and MacKenzie Sigalos contributed to this report.

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