5 things you need to know before the stock market opens on Tuesday, March 7

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will testify on Capitol Hill.
  • California Governor Gavin Newsom is taking on Walgreens over access to abortion pills.
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai says employees complain about ‘ghost town’ offices.

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

For much of Monday, stocks looked like they were poised for a good day. Apple, fresh off a buy rating from Goldman Sachs, raised shares, including some of its fellow megacap technology companies. But the three major indices ended the day only slightly higher. Bond yields crept back up towards the end of the session, slowing the stock rally. “It really felt like going back to kind of those 2020 days where a handful of the FANG names did a lot of the heavy lifting, and to us that suggests that this rally is feeling a bit on its last legs,” BTIG’s Jonathan Krinsky told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Monday. Follow live market updates.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, US, June 22, 2022.

Elisabeth Frantz | Reuters

Investors will be glued to the testimony of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell this week. He will appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday and the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. It couldn’t be a more important time for Powell to testify. The Fed has been steadily raising rates to fight inflation, but despite some recent progress, inflation has remained stubbornly high. As CNBC’s Jeff Cox points out, he will have to convince both politicians and investors that the Fed can indeed tame overheated price growth while giving the economy a soft landing. Be sure to tune in for the Senate hearing at 10 a.m. ET.

California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) talks to reporters after meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-California, at the U.S. Capitol on Friday, July 15, 2022.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

California Governor Gavin Newsom is taking on pharmacy and health care giant Walgreens over the company’s decision not to sell abortion pills in about 20 states, under pressure from several Republican attorneys general. “California will not do business with @walgreens — or any company that cringes at the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk,” Newsom, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter. “Were done.” A spokesperson for the governor told CNBC that the Newsom administration is reviewing all of Walgreens’ business with California. For its part, Walgreens said it plans to sell the widely used abortion pill mifepristone “in every jurisdiction where it is legally permitted to do so,” a statement said.

Sundar Pichai speaks onstage during the first day of Vox Media’s 2022 Code Conference in Beverly Hills, California.

Jerod Harris | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Google CEO Sundar Pichai was trying to address concerns about a new desk-sharing policy for the cloud unit’s employees, according to company-wide meeting audio obtained by CNBC’s Jennifer Elias. “By the way, there are people who routinely complain that they come in and there are large swathes of empty desks and that it feels like a ghost town — it’s just not a fun experience,” Pichai told staff, according to the recording. The CEO’s comments came after several employees complained about how executives rolled out the desk-sharing messages. He read out a comment that said, “Bad things happen, no need to make every bad thing sound like a miracle.” In response, Pichai said, “I agree with the sentiment here. The feedback is valid.”

Qin Gang, now China’s foreign minister, is pictured here speaking in December 2022 in Washington, D.C., while serving as China’s ambassador to the United States.

Chinese news service | Chinese news service | Getty Images

Days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized China for supporting Russia’s years-long war in Ukraine, China’s new foreign minister pushed back to say his country’s relations with the Russian government pose no threat. “The more unstable the world becomes, the more important it is for China and Russia to steadily advance relations,” Qin Gang said at his first press conference since taking office. Elsewhere, Ukraine says Russia has increased the number of missile-carrying ships in the Black Sea. Follow live war updates.

– CNBC’s Sarah Min, Jeff Cox, Spencer Kimball, Jennifer Elias and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.

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