5 things to know before the stock market opens on Wednesday, August 17

5 things to know before the stock market opens on Wednesday, August 17
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A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, on August 3, 2022.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

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

1. Stock futures fall

Actions appeared for a hard wednesday morning a day after the Dow Jones and S&P 500 closed higher. All three major indices were in the red before the bell. The Dow Jones is on a five-day winning streak, while the S&P is looking for its fifth straight week of gains. Investors on Wednesday are digesting Target earnings and Lowe’s a day after Walmart and house deposit published their results. They also expect the Federal Reserve to release the minutes of its previous meeting, as the central bank considers its next steps to fight inflation.

2. Inventory reduction reduces target profit

Actions of Goal closed more than 4% higher on Tuesday after rival Walmart posted better than expected results and stayed true to its forecast for the second half of the year. On Wednesday, however, Target reported earnings that were well below Wall Street’s expectations, even as earnings were in line with projections. Executives said they would rather take a big short-term hit to the company’s bottom line than prolong the pain as it seeks to get rid of mounds of unwanted merchandise ahead of the holiday season. However, Target stood by its full-year forecast and said it is in a better position to bounce back.

3. Walmart CEO: All stingy

Speaking of walmartThe nation’s largest retailer and grocery store is also dealing with excess inventory in some categories, but is benefiting from grocery sales and an influx of new customers. With inflation at 40-year highs, more families with incomes of $100,000 or more are shopping at discount stores, the company said. “People are really price-focused right now, regardless of income level,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC’s Courtney Reagan on Tuesday. “And the longer this goes on, the more that will be the case.”

4. Mortgage demand falls

Rates are down from their highs, price growth has slowed and sales are cooling, but that doesn’t mean people are returning to the real estate market. The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday that mortgage demand hit its lowest level last week since 2000. Fewer people are refinancing their mortgages, as rates are almost double what they were at the beginning of this year. Wednesday’s report comes on the heels of new polls showing that more people are pulling out of deals to buy houses.

5. New Amazon union effort

Amazon workers at the LDJ5 Amazon warehouse rally in support of the union on April 24, 2022 in Staten Island, New York. The union vote in LDJ5 was defeated on May 2, 2022.

Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Labor organizers in a Amazon warehouse near Albany, New York, filed a petition to form a union. The workers are seeking representation from the Amazon Workers Union, which previously unionized an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island. The e-commerce giant, which relies on workers in its network of massive warehouses to distribute products to customers quickly, is fighting union efforts at several facilities, including in Alabama and Kentucky.

— CNBC’s Tanaya Machel, Melissa Repko, Diana Olick and Annie Palmer contributed to this report.

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