5 things to know before the stock market opens Tuesday, May 2

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 27, 2023.

Source: NYSE

Here are the top stories investors need to start their trading day:

1. Waiting for the Fed

The Federal Reserve’s policy-making board begins its two-day meeting on Tuesday, with nearly everyone on Wall Street expecting the central bank to raise its record interest rate on Wednesday. That would mark the Fed’s 10th rate hike since last year as Chairman Jerome Powell and his staff tightened policy to fight inflation. However, recent shocks in the banking sector have prompted the Fed to take a more aggressive wait-and-see approach. Many market watchers believe that the potential quarter-point rally on Wednesday is likely to continue for a while. Powell’s post-announcement press conference is likely to provide more clues as to what the Fed will do next. Follow live market updates.

2. The default may be weeks

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference at the Treasury Department in Washington, US, April 11, 2023.

Elisabeth Frantz | Reuters

Markets may start to pay more attention to Washington’s debt ceiling fight now that a US sovereign debt default could come as early as June. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday wrote to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to tell him the United States could run out of money to pay its bills as early as June 1. McCarthy sought deep spending cuts in return for raising the debt limit into next year, in the midst of the 2024 campaign. Likewise, President Joe Biden has refused to negotiate the limit, saying he’ll talk about spending in a separate context. President McCarthy, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have been invited to the White House for a pivotal meeting on May 9 to try to resolve the issue.

3. Pfizer Covid

In this photo illustration, Pfizer’s Paxlovid is seen on July 07, 2022 in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

Joe Riddle | Getty Images

Pfizer It reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue Tuesday morning, despite net sales falling nearly 30% since last year. The main culprit? Softness in sales of Covid products. As life returns to pre-coronavirus normality in some ways, so has the demand for vaccines and treatments for the disease. The US government has also scaled back its response to the COVID-19 virus. Pfizer said it is sticking to its forecast for this year, which represents a sharp decline in sales of Covid products. Without the impact of these products, however, Pfizer said it expects revenue growth in 2023.

4. Hollywood writers are on strike

A Hollywood sign stands in front of snow-capped mountains after another winter storm hits Southern California on March 1, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Mario Tama | Getty Images

Hollywood film and TV writers went on strike Tuesday after the Writers Guild and the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance failed to reach an 11-hour deal. It’s the writers’ first layoff in 15 years. Since then, the industry has undergone dramatic changes, particularly with the explosion of streaming and content services. Now, however, writers are seeking higher salaries at a time when, in the face of huge streaming losses, studios cut back on spending as executives and boards, and focus more on generating profits than adding subscribers. The strike could delay the start of the fall TV season and alter film production schedules. Late night TV and soap operas are likely to be affected immediately.

5. Uber-nice pop music

The Uber logo is seen in a temporary showroom on the Promenade Road during the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023, in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland, January 20, 2023.

Arend Wegmann Reuters

Uber Shares jumped in the pre-market session on Tuesday after the passenger carrier posted better returns than Wall Street had expected. The company also reported a narrower loss than feared. Uber saw total bookings for its mobility business increase 40% year-over-year to $14.98 billion, showing people are taking more trips while shedding Covid concerns and restrictions. Meanwhile, food delivery company Uber Eats reported an 8% increase in total bookings, to $15.02 billion. The number of active consumers of the platform jumped from the previous year, as did the number of completed trips.

— CNBC’s Alex Herring, Christina Wilkie, Anika Kim Constantino, and Ashley Cabot contributed to this report.

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