December 1, 2023
5 things to know before the stock market opens on Wednesday

  • FTC accuses Amazon of online monopoly.
  • President Biden joins striking UAW workers.
  • Target closed nine stores, blaming crime and violence.

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

Futures were higher on Wednesday morning, but U.S. equity markets are headed for the worse on Tuesday as we head into the final days of September trading. All three major indexes fell more than 1%. This was the Dow’s worst day since March. It was one of those days when nothing seemed right. Sales of new homes declined in August, Amazon faced a major antitrust lawsuit (more below) and the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell more than expected. Follow live market updates.

The Amazon Prime logo is displayed on the side of an Amazon delivery truck in Richmond, California on June 21, 2023.

Justin Sullivan | getty images

The Federal Trade Commission filed a long-expected lawsuit in federal court against Amazon, accusing the e-commerce giant of using “monopoly power” to stifle competition. The agency joined with 17 states to say that Amazon unlawfully uses anti-discounting measures to prevent sellers from advertising lower prices, while also forcing sellers to use Amazon’s “expensive” fulfillment services. Is. Amazon is ready for battle. Amazon’s general counsel said, “If the FTC gets its way, the result will be fewer products to choose from, higher prices, slower deliveries for consumers, and reduced choices for small businesses – contrary to antitrust law.”

SAG-AFTRA Actors and Writers Guild of America (WGA) writers sit in on strike during an ongoing strike outside the Netflix offices in Los Angeles, California on September 22, 2023.

Mario Anzuoni | reuters

Hollywood writers have been allowed to work again. The union representing writers, the Writers Guild of America, and the group representing studios, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, revealed the terms of their deal, ending a strike that had shut down showbiz for nearly 150 years. Helped to do. Day. The agreement includes wage increases, some protections against artificial intelligence, expanded contributions to health and pension plans and remaining payments from streaming. While writers can start working, the actors’ union is on strike, and until this is resolved, the production of narrative films and television shows will effectively come to a halt.

US President Joe Biden joins striking members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) on the picket line outside GM’s Willow Run distribution center in Belleville, Wayne County, Michigan on September 26, 2023.

Evelyn Hockstein | reuters

President Joe Biden demonstrated his pro-union goodwill by joining striking auto workers on a picket line in Michigan on Tuesday. “Stick with it. You deserve a significant pay raise and other benefits,” Biden said through a bullhorn to the crowd of United Auto Workers members, including President Sean Fain. “We saved them, now it’s time for them to come forward for us.” Michigan is a key state for Biden’s re-election hopes next year. He won it by a slim margin in 2020, while his potential rival, former President Donald Trump, won it in a close contest in 2016. Trump is going to Michigan on Wednesday. Only, he would be talking to an auto supplier whose workers are not represented by the UAW.

A shopper looks down the aisle at a Target store in Upper St. Clair, PA on Friday, July 7, 2023.

Jean J. Puskar AP

Target said it would close nine stores in cities such as New York, Portland and San Francisco, saying crime and violence at the locations forced it to do so. The big box retailer has attributed some of its recent problems to “shrinking” losses from lost, stolen and damaged merchandise. Target has said retail theft has been a big part of this. Still, while Target and other retailers are increasingly blaming organized retail crime for the losses, thefts have not increased that much compared with historical norms, according to a survey by the industry group National Retail Federation.

— CNBC’s Hakyung Kim, Lauren Feiner, Anne Palmer, Sarah Whitten, Emma Kinnery, Melissa Repko, Gabrielle Fonrouz and Courtney Reagan contributed to this report.

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