5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday, November 17

Traders work on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, US, November 11, 2022.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

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

1. Holiday bummer

Stocks fell into a funk Wednesday, as investors digested a woeful earnings report from big box retailer Target. While the actual results weren’t so hot, it was Target’s warning about the holiday season that seemed to drag everyone down. Target’s caution highlighted one of the bigger shifts in the economy as Americans shake off more than two years of pandemic life. At the moment, people appear to favor services and experiences such as travel over buying more stuff, even at deep markdowns. Beyond that, though, market watchers are trying to get a solid peg on the state of the American consumer, but it’s elusive. Read live market updates here.

2. Nvidia’s good enough report

The logo of Nvidia Corporation is seen during the annual Computex computer exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan May 30, 2017.

Tyrone Siu | Reuters

Chip and software maker Nvidia posted earnings that came in below Wall Street’s expectations, but its revenue outperformed projections. The company supplies many computer makers and cloud providers, making it a closely watched indicator for the tech industry. While Nvidia said sales of its gaming division fell 51% since the prior-year period, driven by macroeconomic conditions, the company’s data center business enjoyed 31% sales growth. All in all, investors took the report in stride. Shares of Nvidia were up more than 1% in off-hours trading.

3. Starbucks sees red

Starbucks official reusable red cup, left, and red cup from Starbucks Workers United.

Source: Starbucks; Starbucks Workers United

Starbucks Workers United, the union representing baristas at a growing number of the coffee giant’s cafes, plans to strike Thursday at more than 100 locations nationwide. Thursday is also StarbucksRed Cup Day, when the company gives away reusable holiday-themed red cups to customers. The union will give out red cups of its own that will feature what looks like the Grinch’s hand holding an ornament with the union’s logo. More than 250 Starbucks locations have voted to unionize over the past 12 months, defying Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who has advocated against unions. The union said it is striking at the locations call attention to Starbucks’ alleged union busting and other tactics. The company has denied allegations of unfair labor practices. Starbucks operates about 9,000 locations in the United States.

4. GOP wins the House

US House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) arrives to address supporters at a House Republicans 2022 US midterm election night party in Washington, US, November 9, 2022.

Tom Brenner | Reuters

It took just over a week, but now it’s confirmed that the Republican Party will take control of the House of Representatives in January, while the Senate will remain in Democrats’ hands. That means Nancy Pelosi’s days as speaker of the House are likely over for good as the 82-year-old Democratic leader considers her next steps while her husband recovers from a brutal hammer attack. (Pelosi is expected to discuss her future Thursday.) California Republican Kevin McCarthy, who had been the minority leader in the House during the past few years, is poised to take the speaker’s gavel. The House majority will give the GOP an effective veto over President Joe Biden’s more ambitious agenda items over the next two years, but the party also must contend with stark divisions within as loyalists to former President Donald Trump will seek to assert themselves.

5. Russia attacks Ukraine’s energy network

Firefighters work to put out a fire after two residential buildings were hit in the Pechersk district of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on November 15, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Russia unleashed another missile barrage on Ukraine, specifically targeting the country’s energy network. Russian attacks have already done significant damage to infrastructure in Ukraine’s cities, even as Ukrainian forces make progress on the battlefield, seizing back territory that had been claimed by Moscow’s armies. Russian missiles have also hit residential areas. “The enemy thinks that he will weaken our defense with strikes on energy and will be able to hit us in the back. This is a naive tactic of cowardly losers that we are ready for,” said top Ukrainian official Andriy Yermak. Read live war updates here.

– CNBC’s Alex Harring, Kif Leswing, Amelia Lucas, Kevin Breuninger and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.

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