5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday

Feb 23, 2024

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

1. Rocketing to records

2. To the moon

As the new space race rolls on, Thursday brought another historic moment to the final frontier. Intuitive Machines became the first company to land on the moon when its IM-1 mission touched down on the celestial body. The cargo lander “Odysseus” became the first U.S. spacecraft to go to the lunar surface since 1972. Befitting its Greek mythological name, the craft faced some delays — both expected and unexpected — on its way home. After mission control established contact with the lander, Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus said, “Welcome to the moon.” The landing is key for government agency NASA, which will rely more on private companies to carry out missions in the years ahead. Intuitive Machines shares spiked as much as 50% in premarket trading after the mission’s success.

3. Reddy or not

Here comes Reddit’s IPO, after a process the social media platform has taken slowly. More than two years after Reddit submitted a draft registration to go public, the company filed its IPO prospectus to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. Reddit is expected to make its New York Stock Exchange debut in March, and plans to trade under the ticker “RDDT.” It becomes the first social media company to go public since 2019, and will list at a time when investor demand for IPOs has been tepid. Reddit said it posted $804 million in sales last year, driven by ads, a 20% increase from 2022. The company posted a net loss of $90.8 million for 2023, narrower than the $158.6 million loss in the prior year.

4. Cellular crisis

A widespread outage hit thousands of AT&T users on Thursday before cellular service was restored in the afternoon. The effects ranged from disrupted calls and texts for consumers to interruptions in city emergency services. Some Verizon and T-Mobile users also reported issues, but those problems likely came from trying to contact AT&T customers, the companies said. AT&T said an initial review of the outage found it was “caused by the application and execution of an incorrect process used as we were expanding our network, not a cyber attack.”

5. Surprise profits

Two stocks are surging in premarket trading Friday morning after companies posted surprise quarterly profits. Shares of Block jumped about 15% as it showed strong revenue growth in its Square and Cash App businesses. Meanwhile, Carvana shares surged more than 30% as the company reported its first-ever profit. The results continue a broadly better than expected earning season. With 87% of S&P 500 companies reporting fourth-quarter results as of Thursday, earnings had come in 6.9% higher than expected, according to LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv.

– CNBC’s Brian Evans, Michael Sheetz, Jonathan Vanian, Ryan Anastasio, MacKenzie Sigalos and Robert Hum contributed to this report.

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