5 things you need to know before the stock market opens on Tuesday, February 21

  • Walmart announces profit.
  • Home Depot raises the wages of hourly workers.
  • President Biden visits Ukraine.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, Feb. 17, 2023.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

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

Stocks are coming off a mixed week and a three-day weekend, meaning the bulls have just four days to shake off recent losses. The Dow and S&P 500 closed slightly lower last week. It was the third straight week of losses for the Dow and the second straight frame for the S&P. The Nasdaq managed to end in positive territory when the closing bell rang on Friday. This week, investors get a big new list of earnings to analyze (see below). On Wednesday, they’ll get some insight into how Federal Reserve policymakers are thinking, minutes after the January-February 31st. 1 Fed meeting has been released. Follow live market updates.

A Carvana used car “automatic” displays vehicles on December 9, 2022 in Miami, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

Earnings season enters a new phase this week, with retailers starting to report. Home Depot and Walmart released quarterly earnings for the holiday season on Tuesday morning. (See below.) Target and Lowe’s will also report next week. But before then, here are some of the big names reporting for the rest of this week:

  • Tuesday: Caesars Entertainment, Coinbase, Palo Alto Networks (after the bell)
  • Wednesday: eBay, Etsy, Lucid, Nvidia (after the bell)
  • Thursday: Papa John’s, Nikola (before the bell); Carvana, Beyond Meat, Block, Warner Bros. Discovery, Live Nation (after the bell)

A cart stands outside a Walmart store on January 24, 2023 in Miami, Florida. Walmart announced in early March that it is raising its minimum wage for store associates, store associates will earn between $14 and $19 per hour.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The economy has given investors many mixed signals in recent months. It seemed that Christmas sales were generally not so good, but retail sales in January far exceeded expectations. Inflation is cooling down a bit, but still high, forcing shoppers to be more sensible about how they spend their money. That’s where Walmart comes in. The nation’s largest retailer, grocer and employer posted revenue and earnings that easily beat Wall Street’s expectations for the holiday quarter. And according to CEO Doug McMillon, the company is heading into the new fiscal year with a lot of momentum as the economy faces uncertainty this year.

A customer enters a Home Depot store in San Rafael, California on August 16, 2022.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Home Depot said Tuesday it would spend $1 billion to raise the wages of its hourly workers. The increase officially went into effect on February 6, so employees will see their salary increase this month. The move makes Home Depot the latest retailer to recognize the difficulty of keeping employees happy in this tight labor market. Walmart recently said it would increase its minimum wage to $14 effective March. Home Depot also reported earnings Tuesday morning. The company missed Wall Street revenue expectations for the first time since November 2019 and issued a dovish outlook for the year.

US President Joe Biden walks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during an unannounced visit in Kiev on February 20, 2023.

Evan Vucci | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kiev on Monday, walking the streets of the Ukrainian capital with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy even as air raid sirens went off. It was a bold move by Biden, who has pledged support and assistance to Ukraine as it marks a year since Russia’s invading, as it came across as a direct shot at Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin’s war has so far been viewed as a failure, with Putin being blamed by the West and even by the wealthy oligarchs who thrive under his rule. Follow live war updates.

– CNBC’s Fred Imbert, Melissa Repko, Gabrielle Fonrouge and Karen Gilchrist contributed to this report.

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