Trader on the floor of the NYSE Aug. 30, 2022.
Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
1. That Friday feeling
Stock futures indicated a positive open Friday morning as U.S. markets head toward a possible winning week after three straight losing ones. The three major indices closed higher Thursday, even after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell again said the central bank was laser-focused on curbing inflation. “I can assure you that my colleagues and I are strongly committed to this project and we will keep at it until the job is done,” Powell told an audience Thursday at the Cato Institute. Oil futures also rose slightly Friday morning, after falling over worries about slowing demand.
2. Yellen touts the Biden economy
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at Ford’s Rouge electric vehicle facility in Dearborn, Michigan.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen seized an opportunity at a Ford plant in Michigan to tout the Biden administration’s economic track record as better than people might think. The biggest thing weighing on the president’s approval ratings is voters’ low opinion of how he’s handled the economy, particularly as inflation surged. But as gas prices have gone down, Biden’s ratings have started to tick back up, and the administration is keen to promote some wins ahead of the midterms. “Taken together, the bipartisan infrastructure law, the CHIPS Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act authorized among the most significant investments our country has ever made,” Yellen said Thursday. “I believe firmly, they will help us achieve stable sustainable growth, and they’ll move us toward a fairer and more resilient economy.”
3. Tesla weighs lithium refinery in Texas
A giant cowboy boot is on display outside the Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing facility during the “Cyber Rodeo” grand opening party on April 7, 2022 in Austin, Texas.
Suzanne Cordeiro | AFP | Getty Images
Electric vehicle giant Tesla is considering whether to open a lithium-refining facility in Texas, months after CEO Elon Musk said the company may have to refine its own lithium as prices for the resource have soared. The company told Texas authorities that such a plant would be “the first of its kind in North America.” Tesla also wants some tax breaks from Texas. “In the case of the investment on this proposed project in Texas, the decision will be based on a number of commercial and financial considerations, including the ability to obtain relief regarding local property taxes,” the company told the state.
4. Britain after Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday at age 96, concluding a 70-year reign that covered Britain’s recovery from World War II, the final decline of the empire, Margaret Thatcher’s battles with trade unions, the formation of the European Union and the U.K.’s exit from it, and the Covid pandemic. Elizabeth’s passing marks a new era of uncertainty for Britain, writes CNBC’s Karen Gilchrist. Just days before her death, the queen met with a new prime minister, Liz Truss, who is tasked with taming the most challenging economy the nation has encountered in years. The pound hit a 37-year low this week, and Truss’s government is aiming to alleviate the country’s cost-of-living crisis with caps on energy bills. It’ll be tough medicine, and Elizabeth won’t be there to rally Britons’ morale. That’s up to King Charles now.
5. Apple’s prestige play
Still from AppleTV+’s “Severance.”
The Emmys are Monday, and Apple TV+ is a contender for several major awards. The streaming service is under three years old, and it doesn’t churn out the volume of content that, say, Netflix or HBO do. But with buzzy, critically acclaimed shows like “Ted Lasso” and “Severance,” Apple, already the elite personal gadget maker, is trying to stake its claim as a prestige player in streaming, writes CNBC’s Sarah Whitten. Apple TV+ made showbiz Hollywood history earlier this year when its “Coda” became the first streaming service release to win Best Picture at the Oscars. It’s not necessarily all about subscribers for Apple, either. “For Apple, the streaming service is just the means to the end — and the end is more sales of iPhones, Macs, Apple TVs, etc,” Peter Csathy, founder and chairman of advisory firm Creative Media. “As long as Apple TV+ screams quality, then it serves its purpose in Apple’s overall engine.”
— CNBC’s Sarah Min, Chelsey Cox, Arjun Kharpal, Karen Gilchrist and Sarah Whitten contributed to this report.
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