Traders on the NYSE floor, September 14, 2022.
Source: New York SE
Here is the key news investors need to start their trading day:
1. Bad morning for stocks
US stock markets were on track to open lower Monday morning, adding to the misery stemming from last week’s losses. Investors are waiting to find out this week if the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting committee will hike interest rates by three-quarters of a point or more. Last week’s data showed that inflation remained elevated in August, likely bolstering the Fed’s resolve to aggressively target price hikes with further rate hikes. The Fed meeting starts on Tuesday and its rate announcement is scheduled for Wednesday.
2. “The pandemic is over”
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks to highlight America’s manufacturing of electric vehicles during a visit to the Detroit Auto Show September 14, 2022.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Joe Biden isn’t 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 concern for the United States, he said in an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes that aired Sunday. In fact, hundreds die from it every day. “We’re still working a lot on it,” Biden said. “But the pandemic is over.” Vaccines and treatments are more widely available, employers are urging their workers to return to the office more consistently, and children are returning to school. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week that “the end is in sight” as weekly global deaths in early September marked the lowest level since the organization declared the pandemic in March 2020.
3. The nuclear power plant in Ukraine survives the Russian strike
A destroyed Russian armored personnel carrier (APC) is seen amid the Russian attack on Ukraine near the village of Nova Husarivka, recently liberated by Ukrainian forces, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, September 15, 2022.
Gleb Garanich | Reuters
Russian forces have damaged another nuclear power plant in Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian state nuclear company, but the plant is still operating as usual. The three reactors at the Pivdennoukrainsk power plant in the southern Mykolaiv region were undamaged in the strike, which nevertheless damaged buildings there, authorities said. The development came after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces suffered a rapid succession of casualties and ceded territories to the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Intelligence suggests Putin is relying more on volunteers and proxies, while top US military officer Gen. Mark Milley said the war “isn’t going too well” for Russia. Read live updates here.
4. Pessimism about China’s economy
People look at Apple Inc’s new iPhone 14 as its models go on sale on September 16, 2022 in Beijing, China.
Thomas Peter | Reuters
China may have reported better-than-expected economic data last week, but don’t bet on them lasting, analysts say. Investors are not as confident in the superpower’s ability to recover from the self-inflicted damage caused by the government’s so-called zero-Covid policy. “We don’t see the political levers being pulled that are necessary to make change possible,” Mattie Bekink, China director of The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network, told CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia. The stronger US dollar isn’t helping either, and economists expect China’s yuan to weaken further.
5. Puerto Rico disaster
A man stands on the beach with his son in Nagua, Dominican Republic, on 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, ripped through Puerto Rico, leaving much of its destruction in its wake and crippling power across the island. Biden declared a state of emergency as island authorities assess the disaster. “The damage we are seeing is catastrophic,” Governor Pedro Pierluisi said. Meteorologists said there will be more torrential rain even as the storm moves toward the Dominican Republic. It’s unclear when Puerto Rico’s power grid will be back online, conjuring up memories of 2017 when Hurricane Maria knocked out power and left 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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