5 things to know before the stock market opens Tuesday, December 20

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on December 02, 2022 in New York City.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

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

1. Santa slump

Stocks have yet to shake off these December blues. They’re on pace to post a losing month, which would wrap up a year of losses. The three major indices all fell Monday, setting a harsh tone for the week heading into Christmas. Futures, meanwhile, were all over the place Tuesday morning after the Bank of Japan surprised investors by loosening its cap on bond yields. The move provoked a selloff in several markets. On the earnings front, two big names, FedEx and Nike, are set to report after the bell. Read live markets updates here.

2. Amazon gives up pandemic gains

Packages move along a conveyor belt at an Amazon Fulfillment center on Cyber ​​Monday in Robbinsville, New Jersey, on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022.

Stephanie Keith | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon thrived during the earlier days of the pandemic. How could it not? People were largely stuck at home, so they shopped a lot online, spending stimulus checks and money saved from not commuting on necessities and fun items alike. But that didn’t last, even though Covid’s still out there, and now Amazon’s shares are back to where they were at the start of the pandemic. The stock has fallen nearly 50% this year, and it’s on pace for its worst year since 2000 – during the dotcom crash. There could be more pain to come, notes CNBC’s Annie Palmer, since Amazon’s guidance for the holiday quarter came in well below what Wall Street was expecting.

3. Rough outlook for EVs

US President Joe Biden gestures after driving a Hummer EV during a tour at the General Motors ‘Factory ZERO’ electric vehicle assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan, November 17, 2021.

Jonathan Ernest | Reuters

Auto executives are a lot more bearish on the short-term prospects for electric vehicle adoption than they were a year ago. For 2030, the median expectation for EV sales in the US is 35% of the market for new vehicles, according to a KPMG survey of 900 industry executives. That’s down from 65% last year, and well below the Biden administration’s goal of 50%. The new reading reflects concerns about the high cost of materials to make EVs, as well as broader economic worries, such as higher interest rates and inflation. “There’s still a sense of optimism long term, and yet, most importantly, there’s a sense of realism in the near term. You see this realism throughout the entire survey,” said Gary Silberg, KPMG global head of automotive.

Read more: EV maker Lucid closes $1.5 billion raise from the Saudi public wealth fund, others

4. Target’s high stakes holiday

Target has more than 1,700 toys that are exclusive to its stores and website this holiday season. It also has a deal to sell items from storied toy brand FAO Schwarz.

Melissa Repko | CNBC

Target has a lot riding on this holiday season. The big box retailer is much bigger than a lot of other retailers under scrutiny, and so it can ride out a rough patch. But it needs to turn things around, and soon, after struggling with bloated inventory, three quarters of disappointing earnings and a weak outlook for the current quarter. The company hopes an emphasis on value will save the day – that means bigger signs touting low prices, more aggressive promotion of a price-match guarantee and prominent displays featuring affordable gift options. This strategy could well stick around after the holidays, too, as the company tries to reignite growth.

5. Congress unveils funding bill

Fog envelopes the US Capitol building in the early morning hours on November 4, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Samuel Corum | Getty Images

Leaders in Congress released a $1.7 trillion bill to fund the government and avoid a shutdown that would begin this weekend. The measure, which is the last big bit of business lawmakers will likely conduct before Republicans take over the House in the new year, is expected to pass with more bipartisan support in the Senate. The bill also includes more aid for Ukraine as Russia continues its aerial assault across the country. It does not, however, include an expansion of the child tax credit or immigration provisions, as Democrats had hoped for. Lawmakers also included tighter laws intended to prevent another insurrection like the pro-Trump Capitol invasion on Jan. 6, 2021. That move came on the heels of the Jan. 6 committee officially referring the former president to the Justice Department for prosecution.

– CNBC’s Tanaya Macheel, Annie Palmer, Michael Wayland and Melissa Repko contributed to this report.

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