5 Things You Should Know Before the Stock Market Opens on Wednesday, March 29th

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

1. Stocks in search of stability

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, June 28, 2022.

Source: New York SE

Equity markets’ attempt to build on last week’s momentum has failed so far this week. Futures were little changed on Wednesday morning after Tuesday’s loss. The S&P 500 is about to end its worst first half since 1970. Earnings season is upon us, but companies like Nike have already warned that ongoing issues such as inflation and supply chain issues are weighing on corporate performance.

2nd Mester of the Fed on a rate hike in July

Loretta Mester, President and CEO of the Cleveland Federal Reserve, delivers her keynote address at the 2014 Financial Stability Conference in Washington December 5, 2014.

Gary Cameron | Reuters

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester, a voting member of the Fed’s policy-setting committee, said she could push for a bigger rate hike next month. “If conditions were exactly as they went to this meeting today – if the meeting was today – I would argue for 75 because I haven’t seen the kind of numbers on the inflation side that I need to see to see them think we can go back to a 50 hike,” she said in an interview with CNBC’s Annette Weisbach. Investors will also be paying attention to comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday, speaking at a European Central Bank forum.

3. The CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond is leaving the company

Mark Tritton, CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond

Courtesy: Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond announced a leadership reshuffle on Wednesday morning, including the departure of CEO Mark Tritton, as the homewares retailer continues to struggle. Sue Gove, an independent board member, will serve as interim CEO. “We need to deliver improved results,” she said in a press release. The company, which has faced pressure from activist investor Ryan Cohen, also reported quarterly results that fell well short of Wall Street’s expectations. Shares plunged over 10% in premarket trading.

4. Lush data from China

For more than two years, overseas travelers have been required to quarantine upon arrival in China due to Covid restrictions. Pictured here at Beijing International Airport on June 18, 2022 are passengers waiting to be taken to quarantine destinations.

Leo Ramírez | AFP | Getty Images

Strict Covid restrictions and lockdowns in China hampered the country’s economic growth in the second quarter, according to a new report. Various sectors suffered a slowdown, including transportation and services, according to the US-based China Beige Book, which says it has conducted more than 4,300 interviews in China over the three months. The number of new hires has also slowed, according to the study, and is unlikely to pick up again until the Chinese government implements further stimulus this fall.

5. Disney extends Chapek’s deal

Disney CEO Bob Chapek at the Boston College Chief Executives Club, November 15, 2021.

Karl Krupa | AP

Disney CEO Bob Chapek will be around for at least a little while longer as he pursues his goal of broad-based subscriber growth for Disney+. His contract was due to expire in February next year, but the board voted unanimously to extend his contract. Chapek has seen a lot of controversy and turmoil during his relatively short tenure at the top job. He has been criticized for his response to Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, and the company’s share price is down 38% so far this year. Chapek also had a tough act to follow after taking the reins from popular longtime CEO Bob Iger, who oversaw Disney’s acquisitions of the Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars brands.

– CNBC’s Samantha Subin, Elliot Smith, Melissa Repko, Evelyn Cheng and Sarah Whitten contributed to this report.

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