Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
1. Markets look for footing
U.S. stock futures ticked higher Monday morning, as markets come off a week of mixed trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8% last week, while the S&P 500 climbed 0.5%. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, slid about 0.2% for the week. A slate of earnings and the conflict between Israel and Hamas are among the factors that will drive equities this week. Major economic data points include September retail sales, which are due Tuesday. Follow live market updates here.
2. Earnings season gets into gear
Investors will get a good read on the state of major transportation, financial, media and health companies during a string of earnings reports this week. Quarterly results kicked into gear Friday with reports from JPMorgan and Wells Fargo, among others. Here are the notable companies on tap this week:
3. Humanitarian crisis escalates
Humanitarian concerns are growing as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues. Officials are denying reports that a corridor out of the Gaza Strip through Egypt’s Rafah crossing would allow foreign nationals out of the area and critical humanitarian aid into it. Israel has carried out a siege and air strikes on Gaza since the militant group Hamas launched attacks in Israel earlier this month. More than 2,700 people have been killed in Gaza, and more than 1,400 have been killed in Israel, during the conflict. As the world awaits a possible Israeli ground assault on Gaza, U.S. President Joe Biden told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that an occupation of the area would be a “big mistake.” Biden, whose administration has said Israel has a “right to defend itself,” also told CBS “there must be a path to a Palestinian state.” Follow live updates on the war here.
4. Rite Aid files for bankruptcy
Rite Aid filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday, capping a slow decline for the pharmacy chain. Sluggish sales — including from a decline in Covid vaccine visits from early in the rollout of the shots — along with mounting debt and a string of opioid-related lawsuits contributed to Rite Aid’s struggles. The chain has seen more customers go to competitors like Amazon for lower prices on drug-store essentials, and seen rivals CVS and Walgreens pivot more heavily into health-care services. Rite Aid said it would work with creditors on a restructuring plan that could include closing underperforming locations. It also appointed Jeffrey Stein, an executive with restructuring experience, as its new CEO.
5. Pfizer’s Covid slump
Rite Aid is not the only company taking a hit from slower demand for Covid products. Pfizer on Friday slashed its full-year earnings and revenue guidance, as it said sales of its Covid treatment, Paxlovid, and its vaccine will come in lower than previously expected. The company said it cut its revenue outlook to a range of $58 billion to $61 billion, down from prior guidance of $67 billion to $70 billion, “solely due to its Covid products.” Fewer people have sought Covid treatment in recent months, as immunity gained from vaccination and prior infection makes cases more mild for many people. Uptake of the latest round of Covid boosters has also been underwhelming, due to lower demand and supply and insurance issues.
– CNBC’s Samantha Subin, Natasha Turak, Gabrielle Fonrouge, Melissa Repko and Annika Kim Constantino contributed to this report.
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