Here are the most important news updates that investors should know before they start trading:
1. Dow 37,000
Exciting news! The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a record high, closing above 37,000 for the first time ever. This happened because the Federal Reserve hinted at potential interest rate cuts next year, making Wall Street optimistic.
Additionally, the broad-based S&P 500 closed above 4,700 for the first time since January 2022, and the Nasdaq achieved a 52-week high. Keep an eye out for more economic data on Thursday, including weekly jobless claims, retail sales and imports for November, and the business inventories report for October.
2. Powell’s Impact
This year, especially for people investing in stocks, Fed Chair Jerome Powell is playing the role of Santa Claus. He and the central bankers who make policy decisions hinted that they might reduce their benchmark interest rate three times next year. This aligns more with the hopeful outlook on Wall Street than many had anticipated from the Fed.
Even though the yearly inflation rate is still higher than the Fed’s target of 2%, Powell’s announcement and press conference on Wednesday were essentially a declaration of success in controlling rapid price increases. Powell stated, “Inflation has decreased from its peak, and this happened without a significant rise in unemployment. That’s great news.”
3. Adobe’s Not-so-Great News
Adobe shares had an impressive year, rising approximately 85% until the market closed on Wednesday. This surpasses the solid gains of the S&P 500. However, every success story has its bumps.
Adobe’s stock experienced a decline in after-hours trading when the company provided guidance for the next year that fell below what the financial experts were expecting. The company’s executives mentioned that they are closely monitoring expenses and admitted they might have relied too much on increasing prices for some of their software.
CEO Shantanu Narayen stated, “We are very confident in the continued growth of our business, and perhaps we overestimated the impact of pricing.”
4. Job Cuts at Etsy
Etsy employees are facing layoffs during the holiday season, adding to the unfortunate trend. The online marketplace has grown significantly since 2019, thanks to the e-commerce surge driven by the Covid pandemic.
However, economic challenges have led Etsy to reduce its workforce by 11%, despite the ongoing trend of consumers shifting to online shopping. This news follows Hasbro’s recent announcement of cutting about 1,100 jobs, which is over 15% of its staff.
Even though the overall economy seems to be doing well, the significant layoffs at a toy company just two weeks before Christmas highlight tough realities for the industry.
5. Challenges with the Budget
The debate in Capitol Hill regarding assistance for Ukraine might stretch into the next year, potentially complicating a larger struggle over the government budget in the early stages of a general election year. President Joe Biden is requesting $110 billion for additional aid to Ukraine, a country still in conflict with Russian forces led by Vladimir Putin.
Even a visit from Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy had little impact on Republicans, who are pushing for more funding for border security in exchange for supporting Ukraine’s military. Meanwhile, there’s a ticking clock on whether Congress can allocate funds to keep the government running. The temporary measure keeping agencies open is set to expire on January 19 for some and February 2 for other departments.
The Dow Jones hit a historic high, driven by the Federal Reserve’s hints of future rate cuts. Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s optimistic stance on controlling inflation positively impacted the market. However, Adobe faced challenges with lower-than-expected guidance. Layoffs at Etsy and budget debates for Ukraine underscore broader economic complexities despite overall positive trends.