Traders on the floor of the NYSE, September 14, 2022.
Here are the most important information investors need to start their trading day:
1. Bad morning for stocks
U.S. stock markets were on track to open lower on Monday morning, adding to the lingering misery of last week’s losses. Investors are eagerly waiting to hear this week whether the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting committee will raise its benchmark rate by three-quarters of a point or more. Last week’s data showed that inflation remained elevated in August, which should strengthen the Fed’s resolve to aggressively attack price increases with more rate hikes. The Fed’s meeting begins on Tuesday and its rate announcement is scheduled for Wednesday.
2. “The pandemic is over”
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks to highlight electric vehicle manufacturing in America, during a visit to the Detroit Auto Show, September 14, 2022.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Joe Biden is not waiting for the World Health Organization to make the call. The Covid pandemic is no longer the emergency it once was. The disease is still a problem for the United States, he told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in an interview that aired Sunday. In fact, hundreds still die from it every day. “We’re still working on it a lot,” Biden said. “But the pandemic is over.” Vaccines and treatments are more widespread, employers are pushing their employees to return to the office more regularly, and children are going back to school. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week that “the end is in sight” as weekly deaths around the world in early September marked the lowest point since the organization declared Covid a pandemic in March 2020.
3. Ukrainian nuclear power plant survives Russian strike
A destroyed Russian armored personnel carrier (APC) is seen, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, near the village of Nova Husarivka, recently liberated by Ukrainian armed forces, in the Kharkiv region, in Ukraine, September 15, 2022.
Gleb Garanich | Reuters
Russian forces damaged another nuclear power plant in Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian Nuclear Society, but the facility is still operating normally. The three reactors at the Pivdennoukrainsk power plant in the southern region of Mykolaiv escaped unscathed from the strike, which nevertheless damaged buildings, authorities said. The development came after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces suffered a rapid succession of losses, ceding territory to the government of Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy. Intelligence suggests Putin is relying more on volunteers and proxy forces, while the top US military officer, General Mark Milley, has said the war is “not going too well” for Russia. Read live updates here.
4. Pessimism about the Chinese economy
People look at Apple Inc’s new iPhone 14 as its models go on sale in Beijing, China on September 16, 2022.
Thomas Peter | Reuters
China may have released better-than-expected economic data last week, but don’t bet it will last, analysts say. Investors aren’t so confident in the superpower’s ability to bounce back from the self-inflicted damage caused by the government’s so-called zero-Covid policy, to begin with. “We don’t see the policy levers needed to facilitate a change,” Mattie Bekink, China director of the Economist Intelligence Corporate Network, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.” The appreciation of the US dollar is not helping either, and economists expect the Chinese yuan to continue to weaken.
5. Disaster in Puerto Rico
A man stands on the beach with his son in Nagua, Dominican Republic, September 18, 2022. Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico on Sunday as it swept through the Caribbean.
Erika Santelices | AFP | Getty Images
Hurricane Fiona, which struck on the 33rd anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, swept through Puerto Rico, leaving behind vast swaths of devastation and knocking out power across the island. Biden declared a state of emergency as authorities on the island assessed the disaster. “The damage we are seeing is catastrophic,” Governor Pedro Pierluisi said. Meteorologists said there were more torrential rains to come, even as the storm headed towards the Dominican Republic. It’s unclear when Puerto Rico’s power grid will be restored, evoking memories of 2017 when Hurricane Maria knocked out power, leaving some neighborhoods without power for a year.
–CNBC’s Tanaya Macheel, Patti Domm, Natasha Turak and Jihye Lee contributed to this report.
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