5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday, December 21


Traders work on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 14, 2022. 

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

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

1. A glimmer of holiday cheer

Stocks snapped out of their funk Tuesday, if only by a little bit, but it was still enough to stoke fading hopes of a Santa Claus rally. The three major U.S. indices snapped a four-day losing streak with the session, and there may be a chance for better performance Wednesday following two big earnings reports that lifted investors’ spirits. FedEx revenue fell shy of Wall Street’s projections, but earnings came in above them. Nike, meanwhile, easily beat estimates while making headway on its inventory clearance efforts (more on that below). Investors will also get a look at the latest mortgage application data Wednesday. Read live markets updates here.

2. NFL Sunday Ticket deal is near

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the NFL Football match between the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts on October 3rd, 2021 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, FL.

Andrew Bershaw | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell had said he expected the league to reach a deal for its Sunday Ticket rights during the fall. Well, after months of talks between the NFL and Apple, Amazon and others, the calendar is about to turn from fall to winter, and it looks like we could have a deal. The NFL, as of Tuesday night, was close to signing a deal with Google‘s YouTube TV to carry the games package. Terms of the agreement were still being ironed out. DirecTV has been paying $1.5 billion for Sunday Ticket each year since 2015. The NFL has been seeking a buyer willing to pay between $2 billion and $3 billion.

3. Nike makes inventory progress

People wearing protective face masks walk past the closed Nike store on 5th Avenue, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New York City, May 11, 2020.

Mike Segar | Reuters

Nike continued its earnings hot streak with a stellar report Tuesday that easily surpassed Wall Street’s expectations. The sports apparel maker and retailer also enhanced its revenue outlook while posting improved inventory numbers from the prior quarter. Nike, like other retailers, has been mired under a merchandise glut largely due to supply chain snarls, so inventories are still much higher than a year earlier, and they’re cutting into margins. But some aggressive clearance work, including a big shift of products to wholesale channels, has helped Nike feel like it’s past the peak of its inventory woes. Shares of the company surged in off-hours trading.

4. SBF on the move

Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of FTX, is escorted out of the Magistrate’s Court in Nassau, Bahamas, on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022.

Tristan Wheelock | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Accused fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried is headed back to the United States, for real this time. The disgraced founder of bankrupt crypto firm FTX has agreed to stop fighting extradition in the Bahamas as he faces multiple federal charges in the U.S., including fraud and conspiracy. Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, is returning to American soil after several days of courtroom chaos in the Bahamas, where the former billionaire ran his now-collapsed crypto empire. Prosecutors have accused him of using $8 billion in customer assets to buy real estate and stadium naming rights, while making large political donations. If convicted, Bankman-Fried faces decades in prison.

5. Mr. Zelenskyy goes to Washington

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks with U.S. President Joe Biden on the phone in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 11, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters

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