5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday

Traders watch as Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy virtually rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), to celebrate the launch of Advantage Ukraine, an initiative aimed at driving foreign direct investment in Ukraine, in New York City, September 6, 2022.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), September 6, 2022.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

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

1. Looking for direction

Stocks are slumping, and it’s hard to see how markets shake it off any time soon since September is usually a rough month for equities, anyway. All three major indices fell Tuesday, and they looked shaky Wednesday morning, as well. The Nasdaq is on its first seven-day losing streak since 2016, while Treasury yields are coming off a particularly hot day. The Fed is gearing up to hike its benchmark rate again this month, and investors will be looking to the central bank’s Beige Book release at 2:30 p.m. ET for more economic clues about how the fed will fight inflation. Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard is also set to speak Wednesday.

2. Time for new iPhones

Apple's September event invite.
Apple’s September event invite.

If it’s September, it also means that Apple is about to launch new iPhones and other core products. Indeed, the company is expected to unveil four new models of its iPhone, with a slew of upgrades. Apple watchers and customers alike will be keenly interested in the pricing for the new products, particularly in a high-inflation environment. That said, companies offering premium-priced items and services to higher-income customers have managed to raise prices of late with little resistance. For more on what to expect from Apple on Wednesday, check out CNBC reporter Kif Leswing’s preview.

3. Google boss hints at cuts

The logo of Google is seen at the high profile startups and high tech leaders gathering, Viva Tech,in Paris, France May 16, 2019.
The logo of Google is seen at the high profile startups and high tech leaders gathering, Viva Tech,in Paris, France May 16, 2019.
Charles Platiau | Reuters

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai isn’t satisfied with what he’s seeing at his tech behemoth. The executive told Kara Swisher at the Code Conference on Tuesday that he would like to make the company more efficient, while hinting at possible job cuts in an uncertain economic environment exacerbated by a slowdown in ad spending. “Across everything we do, we can be slower to make decisions,” he said. “You look at it end-to-end and figure out how to make the company 20% more productive.”

4. Energy warning, intense heat in California

California heat wave leaves thousands without power

California heat wave leaves thousands without power

California on Tuesday set a new record for peak energy demand as people sought to keep cool during an extended, blistering heat wave. Yet while the state’s grid operator warned residents of the potential for rolling blackouts Tuesday evening, none occurred. Since the end of August, Californians have received so-called flex alerts to curb energy usage by setting thermostat temperatures in the 70s and avoiding the use of major appliances, like dryers, at night. The state, which is grappling with drought conditions and a wildfire, is expected to suffer excessive heat conditions through Thursday.

5. Target’s CEO will stick around

Brian Cornell, CEO, Target
Brian Cornell, CEO, Target
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Target said Wednesday it had eliminated a policy that usually calls for CEOs to retire at age 65. That will enable Chief Executive Brian Cornell, who’s 63 years old, to remain in place another three years. The decision to keep Cornell in the role removes some uncertainty from the big-box retailer’s immediate future, as it works through piles of unwanted products that have eaten away at profits and prepares for the holiday shopping season. Target also announcedthat its top supply chain executive, Arthur Valdez, is retiring and that he would be immediately replaced by inventory management executive Gretchen McCarthy.

— CNBC’s Tanaya Macheel, Kif Leswing, Jennifer Elias and Melissa Repko contributed to this report.