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5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday, Sept 30


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

1. Dow set for a higher open as Wall Street prepares to close out a rough month

Traders on the floor of the NYSE

Source: NYSE

Dow futures rose about 100 points, or roughly 0.3%, on Thursday, the final day of September and the third quarter. S&P and Nasdaq futures saw similar percentage gains as rising bond yields took a pause, one day after jumping rates hit tech stocks again. The Nasdaq fell Wednesday for its fourth straight session. However, the S&P 500 was able to break a two-day losing streak, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rebounded from Tuesday’s sell-off. For the month, all three stock benchmarks fell.

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  • For the third quarter, as of Wednesday’s close, the S&P 500 was actually up more than 1.4% on pace for its sixth positive quarter in a row, the best run since a nine-quarter streak that ended in the final three months of 2017.
  • The Dow and Nasdaq could decide whether their Q3 results will be positive or negative. Thursday’s trading is crucial.
  • Although October saw sharp declines, it is usually the beginning of better season performance. The three benchmarks all saw strong gains for 2021.

2. Fed chief Powell goes back to Capitol Hill after adjusting on inflation

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the CARES Act, at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, U.S., September 28, 2021.

Kevin Dietsch | Reuters

The 10-year Treasury yield dipped Thursday but remained near highs back to June at around 1.52%. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell returns to Capitol Hill, this time to testify before the House Financial Services Committee. On Tuesday, he told the Senate Banking Committee that inflation pressures could last longer than expected. Powell echoed that warning at an ECB event Wednesday.

The Labor Department is out with its weekly look at initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. According to economists, the number of first-time applications for unemployment benefits will drop to 335,000. This is for the week that ended Sept. 25, 2012.

At the same time, the Commerce Department is set to issue its third look at second-quarter gross domestic product. Expect the economy to maintain its 6.6% annual growth rate for Q2 at the same level as it was a month ago.

3. Deal reached on government funding, but it won’t include debt-ceiling action

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to reporters following the Senate Democrats weekly policy lunch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., September 28, 2021.

Reuters The Senate to avoid a government shutdown, Majority Leader said late Wednesday.| Reuters

The Senate has reached a deal to avoid a government shutdown, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said late Wednesday. It would finance the government until December 1st and give money to aid in hurricane relief as well as for Afghan refugee resettlement. It won’t suspend the debt ceiling. To avoid a shutdown, Congress must pass a funding bill by midnight.

Lawmakers will now have to separately raise the U.S. debt ceiling before Oct. 18 to prevent a first-ever government default. Because Republicans oppose raising the debt ceiling, Wednesday’s House bill was passed.

4. Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill faces resistance in House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during an event about the Build Back Better Act and climate crisis at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., September 28, 2021.

Reuters $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill| Reuters

The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill faces an uncertain future. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Wednesday she wants it to pass Thursday, but she left room to delay the vote. This package passed the Senate last month. However, progressive Democrats want it to be considered first for their $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that will strengthen social safety nets. House Republicans want to put pressure on Democrats by requesting GOP members not vote for the infrastructure bill.

5. Facebook’s safety chief is called to testify at a Senate Instagram hearing

A person using Instagram.

Lorenzo Di Cola | NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook‘s head of global safety has been summoned to testify at Thursday’s Senate Commerce Committee hearing into Instagram’s affects on young users. Congress’ political adversaries are united in condemning Facebook for secretly compiling data that shows its Instagram photo-sharing platform appears to be causing serious harm to some teenagers, particularly girls. While downplaying the negative consequences of this popular social media site, they also voice their anger at Congress.

  • The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook had been under increasing public pressure to stop work on an Instagram for kids.
  • Facebook, in a blog post Wednesday, said it “provided Congress with the two full research decks that were the primary focus of the Wall Street Journal’s mischaracterization of internal Instagram research into teenagers and well-being.”

— NBC News and 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.