Markets

5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday

1. Stocks to rise ahead of Fed and tech earnings

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, October 28, 2019.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a modestly higher open on Wall Street. It is jam-packed Wednesday with the expected third interest rate cut this year from the Federal Reserve, new data on jobs and economic growth, and key earnings late in day from Apple and Facebook. The central bank's policy statement is out at 2 p.m. ET, with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's news conference a half hour later. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 did set another intraday record high before closing slightly lower from the prior day's record closing high.

2. Before the Fed comes data on economic growth and jobs

Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, smiles during a press conference following the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Anna Moneymaker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Fed's rate decision and Powell news conference come hours after data on the government's first look at third-quarter economic growth. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that gross domestic product advanced at a faster-than-expected rate of 1.9%, but slowed slightly from the second quarter. Ahead of the Friday release of the government's latest jobs report, ADP said private payrolls increased by a better-than-expected 125,000 positions in October.

3. General Electric shares jump after earnings beat estimates

Larry Culp, CEO, General Electric
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Shares of General Electric surged more than 8% in premarket trading Wednesday after the industrial conglomerate raised its 2019 cash flow forecast and reported adjusted third-quarter earnings and revenue that topped analyst expectations. On a nonadjusted basis, and including certain accounting charges, GE still lost $9.5 billion in the quarter. The company continues to warn that its aviation unit may see a cash flow hit from the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max. GE makes the LEAP engines used on Boeing's top-selling airplane.

4. Boeing CEO goes back to Capitol Hill over 737 Max

Dennis Muilenburg, President and CEO of the Boeing Company, testifies before the Senate Commerce Committee October 29, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee | Getty Images

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg is back on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, appearing before a House panel on the 737 Max plane and whether aviation safety needs greater oversight. Muilenburg took a remorseful tone on the Senate side Tuesday, recognizing mistakes with the grounded plane implicated in two deadly crashes. It was Boeing's most public admission that it botched the design of its highest-selling plane. Muilenburg repeatedly said that Boeing followed existing regulatory processes and that he was open to changes to those rules.

5. HBO Max streaming service to launch in US next year

John Stankey
Stephen Desaulniers | CNBC

WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said the HBO Max streaming service will launch in the U.S. in May at a cost $14.99 a month. HBO Max is one of the newest additions to an extremely crowded streaming market that will soon include Disney+ and Comcast's Peacock. They're all taking aim at Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Apple, which have a variety of subscription and ad-based offerings. AT&T's WarnerMedia said it will spend $4 billion over the next three years building HBO Max.

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