Traders on the floor of the NYSE, Oct. 20, 2022.
Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
1. Weak end?
The good news: Stocks are on pace to have their best week since early last month. The bad news: US markets are on a two-day losing streak, and things didn’t look so great before the bell Friday, either. After a promising start to the week, when stocks were fueled by relatively strong earnings reports from big banks and others, bond yields shot up, sending equities down. On Thursday, the 10-year Treasury yield hit 4.239% for the first time in 14 years. Yields for the 2-year and the 30-year also hit levels not seen in more than a decade. Read live market updates here.
Read more: An often-overlooked economic measure is signaling serious trouble ahead
2. Snapped again
Co-founder and CEO of Snap Inc. Evan Spiegel attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups, at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France June 17, 2022.
Benoit Tessier | Reuters
It didn’t matter that Snap posted adjusted earnings per share while Wall Street was expecting a loss. Or that its revenue grew, or that its user count increased. It all just wasn’t good enough, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better as the advertising market gets tighter. Snap shares, already down 77% as of Thursday’s close, plummeted 25% in off-hours trade. The company’s 6% year-over-year revenue gain was the first time quarterly sales growth fell into single digits since the social media company went public in 2017. Its user gain was offset by a decline in revenue per user. “We are finding that our advertising partners across many industries are decreasing their marketing budgets, especially in the face of operating environment headwinds, inflation-driven cost pressures, and rising costs of capital,” Snap told shareholders.
3. More twists in the Twitter saga
In this photo illustration, the image of Elon Musk is displayed on a computer screen and the logo of twitter on a mobile phone in Ankara, Turkey on October 06, 2022.
Muhammed Selim Korkutata | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
The Washington Post reported Thursday evening that Elon Musk is planning to eliminate 75% of Twitter‘s 7,500-person workforce if he takes over the company. One former executive said the cuts would be so drastic, it could leave users exposed to security threats and images of children in sexually abusive situations. But, the Post added, the current Twitter regime is planning on dramatic layoffs of its own – about a quarter of the company’s workforce – and the completion of Musk’s $44 billion deal to buy the social network would spare them from making painful decisions. Twitter’s top lawyer, in response to the Post article, told employees in an email that the company’s plan was put on hold after the merger agreement was signed. Musk has until Oct. 28 to finish the deal. Elsewhere, Bloomberg reported that the Biden administration was considering national security reviews for Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service and his Twitter deal.
Read more: Facebook shuttle bus drivers are losing their jobs
4. Ukraine presses on
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits the Memory Wall of Fallen Defenders of Ukraine, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, during marking the Defender of Ukraine Day in Kyiv, Ukraine October 14, 2022.
Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters
Ukrainian forces continued to seize back territory in the nation’s Kherson region, as Russian forces retreated and evacuated the area. Ukraine’s government accused the Russians of forcibly removing Ukrainians, but the Kremlin denied it. Volodomyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s president, also warned that Russia could attack a hydroelectric dam in Kherson. His comments come as Ukraine tries to fix its electrical infrastructure following waves of Russian missile and drone attacks on city centers and other important hubs. Read live war updates here.
5. Who’s next?
British Prime Minister Liz Truss announces her resignation, outside Number 10 Downing Street, London, Britain October 20, 2022.
Henry Nicholls | Reuters
After just a month and a half on the job, Liz Truss said Thursday she would step down as the UK’s prime minister. While her tenure was brief, it was consequential. Her government’s tax cut-heavy economic plans shook British markets to their core and severely weakened the pound when the country was already struggling with a surging cost of living. So who’s next? Rishi Sunak, a former finance minister who was runner-up to Truss, is considered the favorite to succeed her. Penny Mordaunt, who finished a surprising third in the Conservative leadership race, is also in the mix. Defense Minister Ben Wallace is well-liked, but it’s unclear he would run. And there’s always Boris Johnson. Seriously. CNBC’s Karen Gilchrist breaks down the state of play here.
– CNBC’s Alex Harring, Jonathan Vanian, Natasha Turak and Karen Gilchrist contributed to this report.
— Sign up now for the CNBC Investing Club to follow Jim Cramer’s every stock move. Follow the broader market action like a pro on CNBC Pro.