5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday

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

1. No more picnic

The Dow’s cruise higher has hit a speed bump. Stock futures slid on Thursday, a day after the three major U.S. indexes dropped in the wake of Fitch’s move to cut its U.S. credit rating. The tech-driven Nasdaq fell more than 2% in its worst day since February. A rush of earnings, including from some of the largest companies in the world by market cap, will help to determine how equities fare the rest of the week. Follow live market updates here.

2. Apple and Amazon headline earnings

Investors will most closely watch a pair of tech giants during another busy day of earnings reports. Apple and Amazon will post results after the bell. Shares of both companies have soared this year along with the broader tech space: Apple has climbed 48%, while Amazon has jumped 52%. In Apple’s case, investors may glean more from the company’s outlook than its most recent quarterly earnings. In notable results before the bell, Moderna shares rose after the company said revenue from Covid vaccines would be better than expected this year — despite a sharp drop in sales of the shot during the second quarter.

3. Dimon, Buffett shrug off downgrade

Both Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett aren’t too concerned about the Fitch Ratings downgrade. The JPMorgan Chase CEO told CNBC’s Leslie Picker that the decision “doesn’t really matter that much” because the market shapes borrowing costs. Meanwhile, Buffett told CNBC’s Becky Quick that his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway is buying Treasurys. “There are some things people shouldn’t worry about,” Buffett said of the downgrade. “This is one.”

4. Chip check

Hopes about artificial intelligence, and the chips needed to sustain it, have bolstered the tech sector and this year. But struggles in the market for semiconductors used in the devices we know now has hit two big names in recent days. Qualcomm shares plunged in premarket trading Thursday after the company gave disappointing guidance, due to its reliance on a sagging smartphone industry. Meanwhile, AMD shares closed 7% lower Wednesday after the chipmaker said second-quarter revenue fell 18% amid slowness in the PC market.

5. Bud beats

Anheuser-Busch InBev topped profit expectations in the second quarter despite sustained backlash against its flagship lager Bud Light in the U.S. Price hikes led to a more than 7% jump in revenue around the world. But in the U.S., revenues dropped about 10%. Conservative social media users boycotted Bud Light after the brand partnered with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, and the backlash spread across the ideological spectrum after the company did not defend its collaboration with her.

– CNBC’s Brian Evans, Annika Kim Constantino, Hugh Son, Fred Imbert, Kif Leswing and Jenni Reid contributed to this report.

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