5 things to know before stock markets open on Thursday, May 11

  • Disney’s earnings mark the end of the streaming wars.
  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is in Japan for the G-7 meetings.
  • Microsoft is holding off on salary increases as it cuts costs.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City on May 10, 2023.

Brendan McDermidt | Reuters

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

Wednesday was another mixed day for stocks. The Dow closed slightly lower, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 ended slightly higher as investors chewed over April’s consumer price index. That data shows inflation is indeed slowing, but at an expected pace, meaning we’re far from the Federal Reserve cutting rates after raising 10 times since last year. On Thursday, markets will process the April producer price index, which measures inflation in wholesale prices. Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected it to rise 0.3% month-on-month. Follow live market updates.

Disney+ website on a laptop computer in the borough of Brooklyn, New York, USA on Monday, July 18, 2022.

Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Good pictures

Investors weren’t worried about what they saw from Disney’s earnings on Wednesday. As Disney tries to turn that business into a profitable one, the company’s streaming operations have posted smaller-than-expected losses. Disney+ actually lost subscribers in the latest quarter, but revenue per user was higher thanks to the recent price hike. According to CNBC’s Alex Sherman, with recent decisions from other media companies, taken all together, it’s clear the streaming wars are over, at least in the sense of a growth story. That means the industry will have to look elsewhere for growth — and gaming may be the way to go.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during a press conference at the Group of Seven (G-7) finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Niigata, Japan, Thursday, May 11, 2023.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Good pictures

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is in Japan for a meeting with fellow finance ministers from the G-7 nations, but the debt ceiling is front and center for her as America’s credibility in global markets is at stake. Yellen again warned of economic disaster if Congress fails to address the debt ceiling. “A default on our debt is something that would seriously undermine the U.S. and global economy, and I think it should be considered unthinkable by everyone,” he said. “America must never default.” Yellen was responding to a question about front-runner GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is urging Republicans to allow the U.S. into default if Democrats don’t agree to a sharp reduction in spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella speaks during the company’s Ignite Spotlight event in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. Nadella delivered a keynote speech at an event hosted by the company’s Korean unit.

Seongjoon Cho | Bloomberg | Good pictures

Tech giant Microsoft has put salary increases on hold for salaried employees as it continues its cost-cutting efforts. The move comes after Microsoft said earlier this year that it would cut nearly 5% of its workforce. Last year, the company increased its budget for merit pay raises and stock awards as inflation increased. “We will again maintain our bonus and stock award budget this year, however, we will not award as much funding as we did last year, which brings us closer to our historical average,” CEO Satya Nadella said in an email to employees. Performance bonuses for executives will also drop significantly, he said. Big tech companies in general have been cutting costs and jobs after a year of declining stock prices following rapid growth in the early days of the pandemic.

Ukrainian soldiers of the Adam tactical group ride a T-64 tank towards a front line near the city of Pakmut, Donetsk region, on May 7, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sergey Shestak | Afp | Good pictures

The rift between the pro-Russian mercenary Wagner Group and Russia’s Defense Ministry has grown more acute in recent days. Wagner’s leader has threatened to pull out of Ukraine’s long-running battle for Baku. As Ukrainian fighters regained ground, Russian forces also retreated somewhat in the fighting. All this comes as Ukraine is expected to launch a new counteroffensive backed by Western money and weapons. Meanwhile, Russia has stepped up efforts to recruit prisoners of war. Follow live battle updates.

– CNBC’s Hakyung Kim, Sarah Witten, Alex Sherman, Jihye Lee, Jordan Novet and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.

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