5 issues to know earlier than the market opens on Thursday, December 1st

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks on Wednesday, November 29, 2022 at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.

Valerie Plesch | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Here is the key news investors need to start their trading day:

1. Fed loosens it’s grip

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said smaller rate hikes could start as early as this month, suggesting the central bank will soon ease its aggressive anti-inflationary stance. Speaking at the Brookings Institution on Wednesday, Powell said the Fed will remain tightening for some time — after four consecutive 0.75 percentage point rate hikes — but that so far it has seen “promising developments.” “It makes sense to slow the pace of our rate hikes as we approach levels of dovishness sufficient to bring down inflation,” he said.

2. Markets watch inflation signals

Traders on the NYSE floor, November 30, 2022.

Source: New York Stock Exchange and Fragasso Advisors

Stocks are looking to build on a market recovery after a strong rally on Wednesday. The Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 both plummeted on three-day losing streaks after Fed Chair Powell spoke of slowing rate hikes. The Dow gained more than 700 points during the session. But Thursday brings fresh data on personal income and spending, and Friday brings a much-anticipated jobs report.

3. Railway business on the route

Boxcars stand at a rail yard on November 22, 2022 in Wilmington, California.

Mario Tama | Getty Images

The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved an interim labor agreement between railroad companies and their unions to stave off a widespread and costly strike. By a vote of 290 to 137, the House of Representatives approved new contracts for railroad workers that include a 24% pay rise over five years, payouts averaging $11,000 and an extra paid day off. In a separate vote, the House of Representatives also passed a resolution to add seven days of paid sick leave to contracts. Both measures now face a Senate vote on a tight schedule – without an agreement, the effects of a potential strike could be felt as early as this weekend.

4. SAQ says ‘Sorry’

Andrew Ross Sorkin speaks with FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried during the New York Times DealBook Summit at the Appel Room at Jazz At Lincoln Center on November 30, 2022 in New York City.

Michael M Santiago | Getty Images

The former CEO of cryptocurrency firm FTX apologized for missteps in a conversation with Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times Dealbook conference on Wednesday. Sam Bankman-Fried said of the Bahamas he “never tried to cheat on anyone” and was “shocked by what happened this month”. FTX filed for bankruptcy in November amid liquidity problems, a spate of user withdrawals and a failed takeover by rival Binance.

5. Ukraine on the offensive

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits Kherson, Ukraine, November 14, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters

Ukraine is preparing a “countermeasure” to Russia’s offensive measures, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday evening, without specifying what that might look like. In recent months, Ukraine has retaken some parts of the country that had been captured by Russian forces. “We are analyzing the occupiers’ intentions and preparing a countermeasure – an even more powerful countermeasure than before,” Zelenskyy said.

– CNBC’s Jeff Cox, Samantha Subin, Rohan Goswami, Mackenzie Sigalos, Christina Wilkie and Lori Ann LaRocco contributed to this report.

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