5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday, June 22

Stock market still has 'material' downside despite recent rally, says Cantor's Eric Johnston

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

1. Three is a tragic number

Make that three losing days in a row for U.S. stock markets. The S&P 500 on Wednesday had its worst day so far this month, just days after hitting highest point in over a year. The Nasdaq had an especially off day, falling 1.2%, while the blue chip Dow slumped slightly. After digesting Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments to House lawmakers Wednesday, they’ll get more from him Thursday (more on that below) in addition to the latest weekly job claims data. Follow live market updates.

2. More to come

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies during the House Financial Services Committee hearing titled “The Federal Reserve’s Semi-Annual Monetary Policy Report,” in Rayburn Building on Wednesday, June 21, 2023. 

Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Powell on Wednesday reinforced the notion that the Fed isn’t done hiking rates this year, even after holding off on an increase this month. Inflation is still too high, he told the House Financial Services Committee. The Fed targets an annual inflation rate of 2%. According to the consumer price index for May, inflation excluding energy and food had fallen to a 5.3% annual rate. “Inflation has moderated somewhat since the middle of last year,” Powell said. “Nonetheless, inflation pressures continue to run high, and the process of getting inflation back down to 2% has a long way to go.” The Fed chair – and admitted longtime Deadhead – is set to head back to Capitol Hill on Thursday, when he’s scheduled to speak to the Senate Banking Committee.

3. Big day for India-U.S. relations

US President Joe Biden greets India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he arrives at the South Portico of the White House in Washington, DC on June 21, 2023.

Mandel Ngan | Afp | Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s whirlwind visit to the United States will kick into higher gear Thursday. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will host Modi for a state dinner in his honor during the evening, with big tech executives, such as Apple‘s Tim Cook, in attendance. To coincide with Modi’s visit, the U.S. and India also plan to announce a slew of deals that are aimed at strengthening military ties, and boosting tech and trade collaboration. All of this comes as India is becoming a major player on the world stage. The nation has surpassed China as the most populous country, and its economy is on pace to become the world’s third largest.

4. Bed Bath bygone

A closed Bed Bath & Beyond store in San Francisco, California, US, on Monday, April 24, 2023. 

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Bed Bath & Beyond, the once-ubiquitous home goods retail chain, will now only exist as a name and a memory. Overstock.com won what turned out to be an uneventful auction for the bankrupt retailer’s digital assets and intellectual property, CNBC’s Gabrielle Fonrouge reports. Earlier this month, Overstock put in a $21.5 million stalking horse bid to set a floor the auction. And, according to court papers filed early Thursday, Overstock won the auction for that very price. The agreement will need to be approved Tuesday. Also next week, Bed Bath’s Buy Buy Baby brand – considered the most attractive portion of the company’s collapsed empire – will be subject to a separate auction.

5. Google takes on Microsoft

Ofcom said it received evidence showing Microsoft makes it less attractive for customers to run its Office productivity apps on cloud infrastructure other than Microsoft Azure.

Igor Golovniov | Sopa Images | Lightrocket via Getty Images

Things could get awkward Thursday night when Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella attend the White House state dinner in honor of India’s prime minister. Google, in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, accused Microsoft of using a “complex web” of unfair licensing restrictions to make sure clients stay with them, therefore muscling out competitors in the cloud computing market. Microsoft’s Azure and Google Cloud are among the top cloud businesses in the world, along with Amazon Web Services.

– CNBC’s Yun Li, Jeff Cox, Charmaine Jacob, Gabrielle Fonrouge, Rohan Goswami and Jennifer Elias contributed to this report.

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