5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday

5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell holds a news conference in Washington, November 2, 2022.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

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

1. Fed decision day

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise its benchmark rate by half a percentage point later Wednesday. Markets have baked that in. Rather, investors will be looking intently at the Fed’s updated rate forecasts and listening closely to what Chairman Jerome Powell says during his press conference after the rate announcement. Economists expect the Fed to stick to its hard line against inflation, even after two straight months of cooling in the consumer price index. Stocks have risen for two straight sessions. That might be put to the test Wednesday, depending on how tough the Fed talks. Read live markets updates here.

2. SBF in jail as Congress dissects FTX collapse

FTX Group CEO John J. Ray speaks at a U.S. House Financial Services Committee hearing investigating the collapse of the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX after the arrest of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 13, 2022.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

A judge in the Bahamas on Tuesday said disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried must be held in jail without bail. Bankman-Fried faces multiple federal conspiracy and fraud charges in the United States, where regulators have also accused him of perpetrating a massive fraud. His lawyers reportedly plan to fight extradition. In Washington, meanwhile, FTX’s new CEO, liquidation expert John J. Ray, told lawmakers about what led to the crypto firm’s downfall. “This is really just old fashioned embezzlement. This is just taking money from customers and using it for your own purpose. Not sophisticated at all,” he said.

3. Do we have a deal?

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., walks to the Senate Democrats lunch in the Capitol on Dec. 13, 2022.

Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

It looks that way at the moment. Congressional leaders said Tuesday they had reached an agreement on the framework of a spending package that will keep the government open. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., announced the deal with House Appropriations Chairwoman Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Senate Appropriations Vice Chair Richard Shelby, R-Ala. “If all goes well, we should be able to finish an omnibus appropriations package by December 23rd,” Shelby said in a statement. The lawmakers didn’t disclose the details of the deal.

4. Google takes it slow on AI chat

Jeff Dean, head of artificial intelligence at Google LLC, speaks during a Google AI event in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Executives at Google parent Alphabet are aware of the hype surrounding OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the new artificial intelligence chatbot that’s captivating social media denizens with its ability to churn out brief, basic essays. But Google is in no rush to put out similar products. The company’s executives would rather keep refining what they have under development than risk Google’s reputation, according to new reporting from CNBC’s Jennifer Elias. “We are absolutely looking to get these things out into real products and into things that are more prominently featuring the language model rather than under the covers, which is where we’ve been using them to date,” Jeff Dean, the leader of Google’s AI division, told employees at a recent town hall. “But, it’s super important we get this right.”

5. Drones attack Kyiv

Rescuers and police experts examine the remains of a drone following a strike on an administrative building in Kyiv on Dec. 14, 2022.

Sergei Supinsky | Afp | Getty Images

Russia launched a new wave of drone attacks on Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, continuing to rely on the Iranian-made weapons to wreak havoc on the former Soviet nation’s civilians and infrastructure. Meanwhile, NBC News reports that the United States is gearing up to send one of its Patriot missile systems to Ukraine. The system would help Ukraine repel Russian missile strikes. The Pentagon is expected to announce the move as soon as this week. Read live war updates here.

– CNBC’s Carmen Reinicke, Patti Domm, Rohan Goswami, Brian Schwartz, Jennifer Elias and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.

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