5 Things You Should Know Before the Stock Market Opens on Wednesday, March 19th
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on April 14, 2023 in New York City.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Here is the key news investors need to start their trading day:
1. A slight stumble
The three major US stock indices faltered on Tuesday as the S&P 500 closed barely in positive territory while the Dow and Nasdaq each slipped. Early Wednesday, it looked like stocks could end up in the red as government bond yields ticked higher. Investors will also have a new list of big earnings reports to dig into afterwards as well Netflix And United Airlines published results Tuesday night. MorganStanley Reports before the bell on Wednesday morning while Tesla And IBM are ready to deliver their numbers after the bell. Follow live market updates.
2. Fox settles defamation lawsuit
It went down to the last detail — jury selection was complete and opening arguments were due to begin Tuesday afternoon — but Fox Corp. avoided a six-week negotiation by reaching a last-minute settlement with Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion sued Fox and its cable networks Fox News and Fox Business for defamation after the 2020 election. The Fox channels repeatedly made false claims that Dominion helped rig the presidential election in favor of Joe Biden against Donald Trump. Documents released ahead of the scheduled court date this week showed several Fox executives and presenters knew the claims were false, and a court hearing could have uncovered more problems at the media outlet. Dominion had asked Fox for $1.6 billion (market cap: $18 billion) but ultimately settled for a smaller, but still hefty, sum of $787.5 million. However, Fox is not out of the legal forest just yet. Smartmatic, another voting rights company, is seeking $2.7 billion in its own defamation lawsuit.
3. The next chapter of Netflix
The Netflix login page displayed on a laptop screen and the Netflix logo displayed on a phone screen can be seen in this illustrative photo taken on January 2, 2023 in Krakow, Poland.
Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images
Netflix sparked all sorts of sentimental warm-and-fuzzies on Tuesday when it announced it was ending its DVD-by-mail service. (People were still using that, really?) But the company got down to business in its earnings report after the bell by focusing on an issue that’s really important to its customer base right now: password sharing. Netflix had attempted to roll out a paid-sharing policy on a broad scale in the first quarter. But after seeing how some non-US markets reacted to it, the company said it would now introduce it in the second quarter, including in the United States. The takeaway, according to Netflix: Subscribers dropped out at first, but eventually they came back and increased sales. “While this means that some of the anticipated membership growth and revenue benefits will decline in Q3 rather than Q2, we believe this will result in an improved outcome for both our members and our business,” the company said.
4. A new frontier for Apple
Apple on Tuesday ushered in a new era by opening its first store in India, a densely populated market with a growing middle class. In fact, India may have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country. And the expansion is so significant for Apple that CEO Tim Cook is visiting India this week. CNBC reporters Kif Leswing, Seema Mody and Arjun Kharpal break down the meaning:
5. Gensler’s Crypto Clash
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler testifies before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Development during an oversight hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington September 15, 2022.
Evelyn Hockstein Reuters
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler was in the hot seat on Capitol Hill Tuesday as House Republicans spied on him over his agency’s regulation of the crypto industry. North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry, the Republican chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, accused Gensler of forcing crypto firms abroad and thereby stifling innovation in the United States. “Regulation through enforcement is neither sufficient nor sustainable,” McHenry told the SEC chief. “They punish digital asset companies for allegedly not complying with the law when they don’t know it will apply to them.” Gensler, however, stuck to his approach. “We have an entire crypto space that understands the law, and if they offer exchange services, broker-dealer services and crypto security token clearing services, they should comply with the regulations,” Gensler said at another point in the four-hour hearing .
– CNBC’s Brian Evans, Lillian Rizzo, Kevin Breuninger, Dan Mangan, Kif Leswing, Seema Mody, Arjun Kharpal and Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.
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