5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday

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

1. Reaching for rate cuts

Stocks have pulled back from their record highs as doubts grow about how soon the Federal Reserve will start to cut interest rates. After the central bank held rates steady last week, Chair Jerome Powell suggested investors may have to wait longer than expected for policy to ease — and other Fed policymakers have started to back him up this week. Earnings will help to drive stocks for the rest of the week, headlined by Walt Disney on Wednesday after the bell. Follow live market updates here.

2. Sports streaming supergroup

Disney is no stranger to ambitious crossover events. Its latest could have big implications for the media industry. The company’s ESPN network will partner with Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery to launch a joint sports streaming platform this fall. Subscribers could watch the broadcast and cable networks owned by those companies that carry sports, along with the streaming platform ESPN+. They would also have the option to bundle the product with the Disney+, Hulu and Max streaming services. The companies, which would each own one-third of the venture, did not announce a price or name for the platform.

3. Blunderbolt

A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report released Tuesday offered the most detail yet on what caused a door plug to blow out of a Boeing 737 Max 9 plane during an Alaska Airlines flight last month. Bolts appeared to have been missing from the part, which flew off the jet and left a massive hole in its side midflight. Spirit Aerosystems produced the fuselage, which includes the door plug. Boeing said in a statement that it will review the NTSB’s findings and “will continue to cooperate fully and transparently” with federal investigations.

4. Credit card crunch

Credit card debt has become a bigger issue as consumers face higher interest rates. Delinquencies spiked more than 50% last year, the New York Federal Reserve said Tuesday. The development came as overall consumer debt rose to $17.5 trillion. Delinquencies are rising not only for credit cards, but also for mortgages and auto loans. “This signals increased financial stress, especially among younger and lower-income households,” said Wilbert van der Klaauw, economic research advisor at the New York Fed. Even so, consumers are taking on debt at about the rate they were before before the pandemic.

5. Pickups, pico and pics

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