- Tesla, Microsoft, Southwest and others report earnings this week.
- Baby formula maker Abbott Laboratories is under federal investigation.
- James Cameron's "Avatar: The Way of Water" passes $2 billion at the box office.
Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
The three major stock indices are still in positive territory this month despite last week's choppy results. Stocks closed Friday on a high note, with the Nasdaq pulling out a gain for the week, even as the Dow and S&P 500 slid. Investors will parse through a big slate of earnings this week (more on this below) as they look ahead to next week's policy-setting Federal Reserve meeting. The consensus points to the Fed raising rates by a quarter of a point, which is lower than recent increases, but markets will be tuned in especially to what Chairman Jerome Powell says about the central bank's next steps. Read live markets updates here.
Earnings season gains serious momentum this week, with several big companies gearing up to report quarterly results. Tech, telecom, aerospace and airlines will be in focus, especially as investors seek clues about what companies are expecting this year. Here's when some of the major names set to report:
Abbott Laboratories, which was at the center of the baby formula shortage last year, confirmed to NBC News that it was being investigated by the Justice Department. The company did not reveal the subject of the investigation. However, The Wall Street Journal reported that federal investigators were probing what happened in early 2022 at Abbott's baby formula plant in Sturgis, Michigan. The company shut down production at the factory Feb. 17, 2022, after babies who consumed formula made at the plant were sickened.
The self-proclaimed "king of the world" has once again proved he knows how to make movies for the masses. James Cameron's "Avatar: The Way of Water" has grossed more than $2 billion at the global box office for Disney, even as one of its most crucial markets, China, struggles with surging Covid cases. While the long-awaited sequel to Cameron's 2009 original started off softer-than-expected in its North American opening weekend, the three-hour sci fi action movie continued to build momentum at the box office during the holidays and beyond, as it faced little competition for theatergoers' dollars. Cameron is now responsible for three of the six movies to have garnered more than $2 billion: "Avatar," "Avatar: The Way of Water" and "Titanic."
It's still not clear whether Germany will sign off on shipping several of its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine to aid in the country's defense against Russia's invasion, although the German defense minister said a decision would come soon. Allied officials discussed the matter Friday but didn't come to a decision. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's government has been pressing allies for the tanks for months, particularly as it has seized back territory that had been claimed by Russian forces. In the meantime, Germany said it would not prevent Poland from sending two of its German-made tanks to Ukraine. Read live war updates here.
– CNBC's Tanaya Macheel, Sarah Whitten and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.
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