5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday

Feb 16, 2024

S&P 500 futures tick higher ahead of fresh U.S. inflation data

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

1. Let’s rally

All three major indexes ended Thursday’s trading in positive territory after a late-day rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed nearly 350 points, or 0.91%, while the S&P 500 added 0.58%, which was good for another record. The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, rose 0.30%. Wells Fargo stock rose 7% after one of the bank’s main regulators ended a penalty that had been tied to its 2016 fake accounts scandal. In economic news, consumer spending fell sharply in January, as advance retail sales declined 0.8% versus the 0.3% decline economists surveyed by Dow Jones had estimated. Investors will be watching Friday morning for more economic data as the producer price index for January gets released. Follow live market updates here.

2. Shake shock

Low-angle view of sign for Shake Shack store in Walnut Creek, California, December 2, 2022. 

Gado | Archive Photos | Getty Images

Shares of Shake Shack shot up 26% Thursday, reaching a new 52-week high. The burger chain reported strong fourth-quarter earnings earlier in the day, bringing in revenue of $286.2 million versus the $280.3 million expected by analysts polled by LSEG. The company also said it saw a 20% increase in revenue year over year. And it plans to keep growing. Shake Shack said it hopes to open 80 locations in 2024, bringing company-owned and licensed restaurants to nearly 600 locations or more than double the footprint from five years ago.

3. Ford’s future pitch

James Farley, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co., speaks during a launch event for the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning all-electric truck at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S., on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

Emily Elconin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Don’t you Ford-get about me. Ford Motor CEO Jim Farley says his company’s “Pro” business — not Tesla and its driver-assistance systems — is the future of the auto industry. The unit contains the automaker’s commercial and government fleet business, as well as other operations and services made for business customers. Ford said earlier this month that it expects pretax earnings for the Pro unit to be between $8 billion and $9 billion this year, which is more than it expects to make from its traditional business. Farley said the Pro business is undervalued and added that fleet customers are adopting electric vehicles faster than the company had anticipated.

4. Toast

In this photo illustration a Toast Inc. logo is seen on a smartphone and a pc screen. 

Pavlo Gonchar | SOPA Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Toast, which makes restaurant management software, said it would lay off 550 employees, or about 10% of its workforce, adding to the tech layoffs in 2024. The company said the job cuts would result in charges of $45 million to $55 million, mostly in the first quarter, and $100 million in annualized savings. Toast also reported fourth-quarter earnings after the bell Thursday that beat Wall Street’s expectations. The company’s revenue rose nearly 35% year over year during the quarter and its net losses narrowed.

5. To the moon

Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lander “Odysseus” deploys from the upper stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket to begin the IM-1 mission.


Intuitive Machines has made its first attempt to try to reach the moon. The company went public via a SPAC merger last year, and investors reacted positively after it announced that the early Thursday launch was successful. Intuitive Machines’ stock soared 34.5% in Thursday trading from Wednesday’s close at $4.98 a share. Intuitive said it was hoping the IM-1 cargo mission would hit 16 milestones. As of Thursday afternoon, the company said it achieved three of them (launch, separation from the rocket and autonomous commissioning).

— CNBC’s Lisa Kailai Han, Laya Neelakandan, Michael Wayland, Jordan Novet and Michael Sheetz contributed to this report.

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