5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday, April 4

News Update – Pre-Markets

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

1. Dow in the dumps

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped for the third day in a row Wednesday. The 30-stock index ticked down 43.10 points, or 0.11%. It was led lower by Intel, which lost more than 8% after the company posted operating losses in its semiconductor manufacturing business. The S&P 500 fared better, inching higher by 0.11% and notching its first winning session of the week. The Nasdaq Composite also ended the day positively, adding 0.23%. In another sign of a resilient economy, ADP data released Wednesday showed private payrolls grew more than expected in March. Follow live market updates.

2. Amazon layoffs

Attendees walk through an expo hall during Amazon Web Services’ Reinvent conference at the Venetian in Las Vegas on Nov. 29, 2022.

Noah Berger | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Amazon’s cloud computing division is cutting hundreds of jobs in its physical store technology and sales and marketing units. Amazon Web Services, the company’s lucrative cloud service unit, has seen its sales growth decelerate in recent quarters as companies cut their cloud spend. The layoffs come after Amazon said it would remove cashierless checkout systems in its U.S. Fresh stores. The AWS unit includes teams overseeing the cashierless tech.

3. It’s Iger’s world after all

Bob Iger poses with Mickey Mouse attends Mickey’s 90th Spectacular at The Shrine Auditorium on October 6, 2018 in Los Angeles.

Valerie Macon | AFP | Getty Images

Disney shareholders on Wednesday overwhelmingly reelected the company’s full board, ending a monthslong fight by activist Nelson Peltz. The election is a stamp of approval for the board’s decisions, from bringing back CEO Bob Iger to his efforts to reinvigorate the $223 billion media company. Peltz and his company, Trian Partners, wanted to throw two board members out and give Peltz and former Disney CEO Jay Rasulo board seats, citing share underperformance, a failed succession process, and billions in misdirected investments. Another activist investor, Blackwells, also failed to win board seats in a separate long-shot bid.

4. Powell’s patience

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell holds a press conference following a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on interest rate policy in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2024.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

Maybe you’ve heard this before, but Fed Chair Jerome Powell is in no rush to ease monetary policy. “On inflation, it is too soon to say whether the recent readings represent more than just a bump,” he said Wednesday at Stanford University. The markets anticipate that the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates this year, but the timing and extent of those cuts are murky as inflation holds above the central bank’s preferred target of 2%. And Powell’s not alone. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester — voting members on the key Fed committee this year — have all spoken this week and stressed the need to wait and see.

5. Leave it to Levi’s

Levi Strauss sold nearly half its blue jeans and other apparel through its own stores and websites rather than department stores such as Macy’s or Kohl’s. The change comes as those wholesalers have struggled and is a boon for Levi’s profits. Levi’s also beat Wall Street’s earnings and revenue estimates and raised its full-year profit guidance when it reported first-quarter earnings Wednesday. Shares rose as much as 10% in extended trading.

CNBC’s Hakyung Kim, Annie Palmer, Alex Sherman, Rohan Goswami, Sarah Whitten, Jeff Cox and Gabrielle Fonrouge contributed to this report.

Follow broader market action like a pro on CNBC Pro.

Previous post Is Caitlin Clark or Paige Bueckers the nation’s top player?
Next post My best friend calls me his baby’s “aunt,” but he won’t let me babysit. I think I know why.