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5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday, Sept. 16


Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:

1. Wall Street tracks lower after a bright spot in a tough month

People walk by the New York Stock Exchange, August 9, 2021.

Reuters dipped Thursday ahead of retail sales and weekly jobless claims data, released at 8:30 a.m.| Reuters

U.S. stock futures dipped Thursday ahead of retail sales and weekly jobless claims data, released at 8:30 a.m. ET The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 on Wednesday rallied for their second gain in the past eight sessions. The Nasdaq broke a five-session losing streak. Ahead of Thursday’s open on Wall Street, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were all down during the historically rough month of September. The Dow closed 2.3% behind its August 16 record. The S&P 500 was more than 1.2% away from its Sept. 2 closing record. Nasdaq closed 1.4% short of its Sept. 7 record.

2. Investors to watch latest retail sales, weekly jobless claims data

Economists expect August retail sales to drop 0.8% after falling 1.1% in July. According to initial claims, the number of jobless for the week ending Sept. 11, will rise slightly to 320,000 compared to the 310,000 in July’s pandemic-era low. Investors will be watching Thursday’s data to see how the U.S. economy has fared in elevated Covid cases due to the spreading of the delta variant. This could impact Federal Reserve’s decision on whether to taper bond purchases. The central bankers have scheduled their second-day September meeting.

3. Much of September losses historically come in back of month

A screen shows Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speak as a trader works inside a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), August 27, 2021.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

The Fed’s policy statement next Wednesday and Fed chief Jerome Powell’s news conference are wild cards during an already particularly weak period for stocks. The back half of September has been historically where the majority of September’s losses occur. In fact, it appears the S&P 500 usually peaks around the 17th day of the month, which is this Friday. CNBC’s Jim Cramer and others on Wall Street have warned about this pattern. The index has been down almost 1% so far in September. For the month of September, the Dow and Nasdaq were both down 1.5% & 0.6% respectively. However, year-to-date, the S&P 500 was up nearly 19.3%; the Dow was up over 13.7%; and the Nasdaq was up 17.6%.

4. FDA strikes cautious tone ahead of vaccine booster meeting

Vials and a medical syringe seen displayed in front of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States logo. FDA has found the COVID-19 vaccination.

Pavlo Gonchar | LightRocket | Getty Images

5. Southwest Airlines unveils new Covid vaccine incentives for staff

A passenger aircraft operated by American Airlines Group Inc. lands at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, June 16, 2021.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Southwest Airlines has introduced new incentives to get staff vaccinated against Covid. CNBC reviewed a memo from the company that stated that Dallas-based carriers will give extra pay for employees who can show proof they have been fully vaccinated by November. U.S. airlines tried different approaches in getting their staff vaccinations. United It has mandated that its approximately 67,000 employees in the United States be vaccinated. The airline also stated it would place staff with religious exemptions on unpaid temporary leave. Delta Air Lines Beginning in November, unvaccinated employees will have to pay $200 more per month for company-sponsored health insurance.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all the market action like a pro on CNBC Pro. Get the latest on the pandemic with CNBC’s coronavirus coverage.