5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday

Feb 29, 2024

News Update – Pre-Markets

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

1. Downtick

Stock futures fell Thursday ahead of another highly anticipated inflation report. The Fed’s favorite inflation gauge, the personal consumption expenditures price index, comes as Wall Street looks for any sign of cooling prices that could result in easing monetary policy. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined about 0.2% ahead of the report and market open, while S&P 500 futures fell about 0.16% and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.17%. All three major indexes lost ground on Wednesday as well: The Dow fell 0.06%, the S&P 500 ticker 0.17% lower, and the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.55%. Follow live market updates.

2. Snowfall

The Snowflake Inc. logo, an American computing-based data cloud company that has a strong partnership with Salesforce, displayed on their stand during the Mobile World Congress 2023 on March 2, 2023, in Barcelona, Spain. 

Joan Cros | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Cloud computing company Snowflake announced its CEO, Frank Slootman, is retiring to be replaced by former Google ad chief Sridhar Ramaswamy. Slootman, who joined the company in 2019, led Snowflake as it went public in the largest software IPO ever in 2020. He’ll remain chairman of the board, yet shares of the company plunged more than 20% in extended trading after the announcement, which came alongside Snowflake’s quarterly report. Enterprise software company Salesforce also reported results, surpassing estimates for its recent quarter. But it issued a weak forecast for the upcoming fiscal year, and shares of that company slipped after hours.

3. Streaming strength

Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Paramount Global — home to brands such as CBS, Showtime and Nickelodeon — reported strong trends in its streaming sector for the fourth quarter. Paramount+, the company’s flagship streaming service, saw a 69% year-over-year revenue increase and added more than 4 million net new subscribers for a total of 67.5 million. The company also said it expects Paramount+ to achieve profitability domestically by 2025. However, the media giant reported a 6% overall revenue decline year over year and missed Wall Street estimates.

4. Stepping down

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks to his office after speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate on October 03, 2018 in Washington, DC. An FBI report on current allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected by the end of this week, possibly later today.

Win McNamee | Getty Images

Republican Mitch McConnell is leaving his Senate leadership post in November. The Kentucky senator, 82, is currently minority leader and the longest-serving Senate caucus leader in history. His current term ends in January 2027, and he plans to keep his seat. “One of life’s most underappreciated talents is to know when it’s time to move on to life’s next chapter, so I stand before you today, Mr. President and my colleagues, to say this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

5. WW loses Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey invested in WW in 2015 and joined the company’s board of directors.

Source: WW

Oprah Winfrey is leaving the board of WW, formerly WeightWatchers, and donating all of her stock in the company to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It comes at a critical moment for weight loss, as blockbuster drugs from Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly gain popularity. “Weight Health is a critically important topic and one that needs to be addressed at a broader scale” Winfrey said in a statement. WW CEO Sima Sistani — who was named to CNBC’s inaugural CNBC Changemakers list this week — has previously said weight loss drugs do not pose a threat to the company. Shares of WW fell more than 20% in extended trading.

– CNBC’s Samantha Subin, Jonathan Vanian, Jordan Novet, Dan Mangan and Eric Rosenbaum contributed to this report.

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