5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday
- Crypto bank Silvergate is shutting down.
- Norfolk Southern's CEO faces senators.
- WWE wants gamblers to bet on scripted match results.
Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
1. March muddle
Stocks were mixed Wednesday as investors chewed over fresh jobs data and new comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The latest ADP jobs report showed that private payrolls grew more than expected in February. Powell, meanwhile, told House lawmakers very much the same things he told senators on Tuesday, that the Fed may well have to raise rates faster to cool down the economy. Powell did say, however, it's still not decided what the Fed will do at its meeting later this month. Several retail names report quarterly earnings after the bell Thursday, including Gap and Ulta. Follow live markets updates.
2. Silvergate melts down
Another major crypto player bites the dust, as the fallout spreads from the failure of Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX. Silvergate Capital, a major lender in the cryptocurrency world that counted FTX as a key customer, said Wednesday it would close up shop and wind down its bank. The company said it would repay all of its deposits, but it didn't explain how it would resolve claims against the business. The firm's collapse comes soon after it delayed its annual financial report and warned that it could fail. Silvergate is also facing several regulatory probes and an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.
3. Norfolk Southern CEO faces senators
Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw is set to testify at 10 a.m. ET before a Senate panel as he and his railroad company continue to clean up an environmental, political and public relations mess. Lawmakers have said they want to know more about the early February derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous chemicals through eastern Ohio. Shaw intends to tell lawmakers that he's "deeply sorry" for the derailment and that the company is working to "make it right," according to prepared remarks. While Shaw and officials have said it's safe to return to East Palestine, the town most affected by the disaster, residents and cleanup workers have reported rashes, sore throats and other illnesses. No fatalties have been reported.
4. WWE's gambit
As odd as it may sound – gambling on scripted matches – people do bet on pro wrestling outcomes. But that part of the gambling world hasn't gotten an official blessing from the biggest dog on the wrestling block, WWE. Until now. CNBC's Alex Sherman reported Wednesday that Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment has held talks with regulators in Michigan and Colorado about legalized bets on certain scripted matches. How would it work? It's complicated, but sources say WWE is arguing it could be like betting on the Oscars, in which results are known by a few people before winners are announced but are otherwise under lock and key. It's a tough sell for regulators and gambling companies alike, to be sure. Colorado's gambling authority told CNBC late Wednesday, hours after the story broke, that it wasn't considering the idea.
5. Russian airstrikes hammer Ukraine
Russia resumed its wave of airborne terror on Ukraine, firing 81 missiles at cities such as Kyiv and Odesa in the early morning hours Thursday, according to Ukrainian officials. The barrage included six hypersonic missiles, which are too fast for Ukraine to intercept, the officials said. Kyiv's mayor said 40% of the capital's residents were without heat as a result of the attack. Elsewhere in Ukraine, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – the largest in Europe – has gone into "blackout mode." Follow live war updates.
– CNBC's Hakyung Kim, MacKenzie Sigalos, Noah Sheidlower, Alex Sherman and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.
— Follow broader market action like a pro on CNBC Pro.