Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
1. Waiting for the jobs number
After a gangbusters two days to start the week, stocks have declined two days. Despite the 2-2 record, however, equities are on pace to finish their best week since late June. Friday’s jobs report may have a lot to say about that, though. Economists expect nonfarm payrolls, set to be announced at 8:30 a.m. ET by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to have grown by 275,000 in September. If the number comes in higher than that, some market watchers fear it will embolden the Federal Reserve to become even more aggressive in its quest to cool the economy as inflation skyrockets. “Bad news equals good news, good news equals bad news,” said Vincent Reinhart, chief economist at Dreyfus-Mellon. “When they get bad news on the economy, that means the Fed is going to tighten less.” Read live market updates here.
2. Pressure is on Musk
Elon Musk has until Oct. 28 to complete a deal to buy TwitterIf there’s no deal by then, the case will go to trial in November. The contest between the social network and the billionaire chief of Tesla and SpaceX was set to start Oct. 17. Twitter is suing him because he tried to back out of his deal to buy the company, but Musk said earlier this week that he would relent and complete the deal at the original price of $54.20 a share. The judge granted Musk’s request for a delay, which he said would give him more time to wrap up the deal. But Twitter is skeptical of the billionaire’s motives. The company opposed moving the trial date, saying his request was “an invitation to further mischief and delay.”
3. The latest on Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse is trying to fight back. The beleagured Swiss bank said it aims to buy back more than $3 billion in debt securities as its share price falls and bets against its debt surge. It also plans to sell the storied Savoy Hotel, located in Zurich’s financial district, which set off further alarm that the bank is trying to secure liquidity. Credit Suisse is contending with the fallout from several scandals, particularly the one stemming from its $5 billion exposure to hedge fund Archegos Capital Management, which collapsed in March 2021. Earlier this year, federal prosecutors in the U.S. charged Archegos’ owner, Bill Hwang, and one of his top lieutenants with securities fraud, alleging that they manipulated markets. Several banks took a hit when Archegos went under, but Credit Suisse incurred the most pain.
4. Biden’s pot pardons
President Joe Biden stunned the country Thursday, when he announced that he would pardon thousands of people for marijuana offenses. He also ordered members of his Cabinet to review how pot is classified under federal laws. Right now, it’s considered more serious at the federal level than fentanyl and is classifed at the same level of heroin, Biden noted: “It makes no sense.” He also encouraged governors to follow his lead, as states increasingly legalize marijuana. “Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely due to the possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either,” the president said.
5. Honors in the shadow of war
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize will be split among activists in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, as Russian forces’ unwarranted, monthslong invasion of Ukraine falters. One of the recipients, Ales Bialiatski, is a human-rights and democracy activist who is widely considered a political prisoner. He is locked up in Belarus, whose government provided Russian leader Vladimir Putin space to launch his attack on Ukraine earlier this year. The other winners are Ukrainian rights group the Center for Civil Liberties and Memorial, a Russian organization founded in 1987 to honor victims of political oppression. Read live updates about the Ukraine war here.
– CNBC’s Samantha Subin, Jeff Cox, Jonathan Vanian, Elliot Smith, Christina Wilkie and Jenni Reid contributed to this report.
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