5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday, August 26

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell arrives for a news conference following a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) in Washington, July 27, 2022.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

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

1. Here comes Powell

2. Saggy stock futures

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. 

Courtesy: NYSE

Markets looked headed for a downbeat Friday opening as they await Powell’s remarks later in the morning. Stocks had a winning Thursday, but they are poised for a second consecutive losing week as the summer rally runs out of steam. Earnings reports have practically dried up, too, with no major names set to weigh in Friday. Gap, however, is doing well in off-hours trading after it reported its quarterly results and withdrew its guidance for the year following the closing bell Thursday. “Overall, it remains a really attractive moment to invest in equities. Underlying company performance is strong for the highest quality companies, and multiples are down because of macro fears,” Upholdings portfolio manager Robert Cantwell told CNBC.

3. Bed Bath looks beyond

Signs mark a Bed Bath & Beyond store in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

Investors still interested in Bed Bath & Beyond after meme stock maven Ryan Cohen dumped his stake last week will get an update next week on how the company plans to shore up its finances and attempts to win back customers. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the home goods chain is close to securing a $400 million lifeline from Sixth Street Partners, which has lent to other distressed retailers, like J.C. Penney. It’ll be tough for Bed Bath to pull off a turnaround, even if it strengthens its balance sheet, since inflation-pinched shoppers are buying more groceries and fewer discretionary items.

4. A first for Chipotle

Prices at Chipotle Mexican Grill are up roughly 4% to cover the cost of raising the chain’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. Pictured, Chipotle employees in Houston.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The labor movement scored a big win Thursday in Michigan, where workers at a Chipotle restaurant voted to unionize with the Teamsters. It’s the first of the Mexican chain’s locations to do so. “The Teamsters have these workers’ backs. They’re going to have a union they can be proud of, that knows how to get things done,” said the president of Teamsters Local 243. The company, meanwhile, told CNBC it is “disappointed” in the development. Chipotle has five days to file objections. The vote came weeks after the chain permanently closed a restaurant in Maine following employees’ decision to file for a union vote.

5. Redacted Trump affidavit on the way

An aerial view of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home after Trump said that FBI agents raided it, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. August 15, 2022.

Marco Bello | Reuters

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