Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., on November 7, 2022.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Here are the key news investors need to start their trading day:
1. Markets and dead ends
U.S. stocks were up slightly ahead of Election Day as investors bet on partisan gridlock in the next Congress. By Wednesday morning, however, the balance of power was still undecided. Preliminary results showed Democrats beating expectations (more details below), with several key seats still up for grabs. Many investors are interested in party-sharing in Washington, as they see it as a way to rein in spending, especially as high inflation dampens the economy. And as long as inflation is high, the Federal Reserve has said it is prepared to keep raising interest rates — a promise that has weighed on stocks. Read real-time market updates here.
2. Status of major competitions
Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Lt. Governor John Fetterman speaks at a campaign stop before the 2022 U.S. midterm elections in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 7, 2022.
Hannah Beier | Reuters
Let’s start with the Senate. Democrat John Fetterman flipped Pennsylvania’s GOP-controlled U.S. Senate seat, defeating Mehmet Oz, a televangelist backed by former President Donald Trump. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., won his re-election bid, while Trump-endorsed JD Vance fended off Democratic challenger Rep. Tim Ryan in Ohio. Four major contests remain undecided, either too close or too early to call: Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada and Georgia (which could go to a runoff next month). If the Democrats win two of them, they will have the Senate. The battle for the House is also tight, though GOP leaders remain confident they will take control of it. Read election updates here.
Read more: Trump’s favorite candidates cheat on Election Day and raise questions about 2024
3. Meta lays off thousands
Mark Zuckerberg during the Metaverse discussion on CNBC
Mark Zuckerberg’s Potential Metaversal Company, Meta, said Wednesday that it would lay off more than 11,000 employees, or about 13 percent of its workforce. The job cuts come after Meta’s sobering earnings report last month, when it posted rising costs and falling advertising revenue. Zuckerberg has plowed billions of dollars into his nascent online metaverse, which has suffered from declining user numbers and widespread derision of cartoonish graphics. The company’s stock, which also includes social media apps Facebook and Instagram, has fallen more than 70% this year as of Tuesday’s close. Its market cap, once over $1 trillion, is now around $255 billion.
4. The Tragic Kingdom
Bob Chapek, CEO of Disney, speaks at the 2022 Disney Legends Awards during Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, California on September 9, 2022.
Mario Anzuoni | Reuters
Not great, Bob. DisneyTuesday’s earnings report was disappointing in almost every way. The profit far exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. Net sales also decreased, which was due to the soft development of the company’s media and entertainment segment. Even the silver linings replaced the gray clouds. Disney+ streaming subscriptions beat expectations, but its high costs ate into earnings, and the company expects growth to slow in the current quarter. Disney’s Parks and Cruises segment posted record revenue, according to CEO Bob Chapek, but that also fell short of analysts’ forecasts.
Read more: Disney wants you to focus on revenue and profit instead of subscribers – not now
5. Bitter fighting in Ukraine
A view of the damage after the bombings on November 5, 2022 in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
After several successful counter-attacks to recapture territories from the Russians, the Ukrainian troops find themselves almost deadlocked on the front lines of the war. “The situation is difficult on the entire front. Heavy fighting continues in some areas, as before. And it is especially difficult in the Donetsk region, as before,” Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday evening. “The occupiers suffered very heavy losses, but their order to move the Donetsk region to the administrative border has not changed. We will not give up a cent of our land there.” Read live war updates here.
— CNBC’s Jesse Pound, Yun Li, Jonathan Vanian, Sarah Whitten and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report, as did the CNBC.com policy team.
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