5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday

A U.S. flag is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, January 26, 2023.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

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

1. On a roll

Stocks are headed for a winning week after Thursday’s strong session. The gross domestic product print for the fourth quarter came in slightly better than expected. While the report showed a quarter-to-quarter slowdown, it raised hopes that the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation could bring the economy in for a soft landing, even as recession fears persist. Equities are green for the month, too, even though earnings season has been choppy so far. Next week brings a monster earnings slate: GM, McDonald’s, Meta, Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Ford and Starbucks all report. The Fed’s latest rate decision also comes next week.

2. Bad times for Intel

Pat Gelsinger, CEO, of Intel Corporation, testifies during the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on semiconductors titled Developing Next Generation Technology for Innovation, in Russell Senate Office Building on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.

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

Intel posted a brutal quarterly earnings report after the bell Thursday. There was bad news everywhere you looked: profits, margins and revenues all fell. In fact, it was the company’s fourth consecutive quarter of declining sales. The tech giant is struggling through a slump in demand for personal computers that has resulted in a costly glut of chip inventories. Intel didn’t give guidance for the full year, given uncertainty around inflation and a potential recession. It did say that it expects to post a loss for the current quarter, however, compared to $1.13 EPS in the prior-year period. Intel’s stock fell about 9% in off-hours trading.

3. Not exactly child’s play

Hasbro board games Monopoly and Yatze.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Not even the holidays could help this toy giant. Hasbro doesn’t report fourth quarter results until Feb. 16, but the toy maker is already warning investors that they’re going to be bad. The company, whose brands include My Little Pony and Dungeons and Dragons, also said it would be cutting 1,000 jobs, or about 15% of its workforce. Hasbro said it expects to report $1.68 billion in fourth quarter revenue, down 17% vs. the year-earlier period and well below Wall Street’s estimates of $1.92 billion. Shares of the company fell before the bell Friday.

4. Bed Bath & Beyond defaults

Shoppers arrive at a Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. store in Norridge, Illinois.

Christopher Dilts | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Bed Bath & Beyond is heading for a reckoning. The struggling home goods retailer said Thursday it had defaulted on a credit line with JPMorgan, and warned that it lacks the cash to pay down its debts. Once again, Bed Bath warned of a potential bankruptcy filing, which is looking more likely by the day. Its shares tanked Thursday, and are down about 80% in the past 12 months, despite the best efforts of some die-hard meme stock traders. Its market value stands at a mere $295 million. Bed Bath’s board also appointed Carol Flaton, who is known as a restructuring expert, as an independent director, effective immediately. She will be paid $30,000 a month, “payable in cash in advance,” according to a securities filing.

5. Zelenskyy seeks more sanctions

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks via video link during a meeting of ministers of defence at Ramstein Air Base in Germany to discuss how to help Ukraine defend itself, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine January 20, 2023. 

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters

Russia ramped up its airstrikes on Ukraine following announcements that Germany and the United States would send tanks to aid Ukraine’s defense. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, likewise, called for more sanctions on Russia. “This Russian aggression can and should be stopped only with adequate weapons. The terrorist state will not understand anything else. Weapons on the battlefield. Weapons that protect our skies,” he said Thursday. “New sanctions against Russia, i.e. political and economic weapons. And legal weapons – we need to work even harder to establish a tribunal for the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

– CNBC’s Carmen Reinicke, Kif Leswing, Jordan Novet, Sarah Whitten, Gabrielle Fonrouge, Lillian Rizzo and Natasha Turak contributed to this report.

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