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5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday, May 17

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., May 16, 2023. 

Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters

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

1. Gotta get over the hump

Stocks are headed into Wednesday after a lackluster Tuesday. The Dow fell more than 300 points, dragged down in part by Home Depot, which posted disappointing quarterly results that indicate worrisome signs for the economy. Retail sales for April also came in weaker than economists had anticipated. On Wednesday, investors will chew over the latest debt ceiling developments out of Washington and Target’s earnings report (more on both below). Follow live market updates.

2. On the mark

Shopping carts outside a Target store in the Queens borough of New York, US, on Saturday, May 13, 2023. Target Corp. is scheduled to release earnings figures on May 17. 

Bing Guan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Target results came in a little better than expected Wednesday morning, even as shoppers pare back their spending on discretionary items and buy more essentials like groceries. “The consistent inflation, the running out of savings as well as just economic uncertainty in general is having an impact on their choices and they’re making tradeoffs,” said the company’s chief growth officer, Christina Hennington. Digital sales fell as foot traffic at stores increased slightly. CEO Brian Cornell said online deliveries tend to be more in the discretionary category, while same-day curbside pickup orders are more focused on daily necessities. Cornell also said the retail giant is on track to lose $500 million this year from theft and overall “shrink,” compared with last year.

3. ‘I’ll say what I want’

Elon Musk might have just made his brand new Twitter CEO’s job even tougher. Days ago, the billionaire Tesla chief hired Linda Yaccarino, who had a successful run as NBC Universal’s ad chief, to run the social media company and help boost its flagging advertising revenue. During his exclusive interview with CNBC’s David Faber on Tuesday night, however, Musk said he didn’t care if his often inflammatory tweets scared away business from his companies. “I’ll say what I want, and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it,” he told Faber. The night before the interview, Musk tweeted attacks on liberal billionaire George Soros, who is routinely the target of anti-Semitic and right wing insults and conspiracy theories, saying he “hates humanity.” The head of the Anti-Defamation League called Musk’s latest Soros tweets “dangerous.” Musk denied that he is an anti-Semite.

4. A little progress

U.S. President Joe Biden announces that he will be cutting his upcoming trip to Asia short and will return to Washington earlier than planned, to continue U.S. debt ceiling negotiations, during his remarks at a Jewish American Heritage Month celebration at the White House in Washington, May 16, 2023.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

Every little bit helps, right? On Tuesday, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris met with the big four congressional leaders as they work toward averting the first-ever default in U.S. history. While the sides remain distant on their respective demands, they’ve devised a new negotiation framework that involves direct talks between two top Biden aides and an ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Biden on Wednesday is set to travel to Japan for the Group of Seven Summit, but he will cut his overall trip to the Asia-Pacific region short while negotiations continue ahead of the early June deadline to raise the debt ceiling. “There was an overwhelming consensus I think in today’s meeting with congressional leaders that defaulting on the debt is simply not an option,” Biden said.

5. Grain deal set to expire

An aerial view of a dry cargo ship transporting grain from Ukraine under the U.N,-brokered Black Sea deal.

Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

It’s not clear yet whether Russia will extend its agreement to allow agricultural exports out of Ukraine while the war continues. The pact ends Thursday. The so-called Black Sea grain deal has ensured the availability of grain and other crops from Ukraine, keeping food inflation in check and ensuring food security for millions. “When the appropriate decision is made, we will inform you, this is the only thing I can say so far,” Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s top spokesman, said Tuesday. Follow live war updates.

And one more thing …

Victor Wembanyama of Metropolitans 92 in action during the LNB Pro A Betclic Elite basketball match between Nanterre 92 and Metropolitans 92 at Palais des Sports Maurice Thorez on 09 May 2023, in Nanterre near Paris, France.

Christian Liewig – Corbis | Getty Images

It’s practically spooky. For the third time in franchise history the San Antonio Spurs will have the first pick in the NBA Draft. And, just like the last two times, the team will have the chance to select a player with seemingly unlimited potential. In 1987, it was David Robinson. In 1997, it was Tim Duncan. Both won mulltiple titles and are ranked among the 75 greatest players in NBA history. This time it’s 19-year-old French phenom Victor Wembanyama, who is taller than most big men at 7’3″ and plays with the grace of a guard. The NBA Draft is scheduled for June 22.

– CNBC’s Alex Herring, Melissa Repko, Christina Wilkie, Emma Kinery and Amanda Macias contributed to this report.

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This story originally appeared on CNBC

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