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5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday

Tom Pennington | Getty Images
  • Stocks fall as rate hike worries increase.
  • Airlines say jet fuel costs are rising.
  • Football season kicks off.

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

1. Slow September

Stocks fell Wednesday amid worries that the Federal Reserve might not be done hiking interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 200 points or 0.57% on Wednesday, while the S&P 500 lost 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite shed 1.06%. On the other hand, treasury yields jumped and the yield on the 2-year Treasury note tradedabove the 5% level. The rate hike concerns came as recent readings on both the services and manufacturing sectors of the U.S. economy indicate prices are moving in the wrong direction. Follow live market updates.

2. Airline warning

An employee pulls a fuel line as he prepares to refuel a Southwest Airlines plane at the Oakland International Airport in Oakland, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
An employee pulls a fuel line as he prepares to refuel a Southwest Airlines plane at the Oakland International Airport in Oakland, California.

Major airlines warned that jet fuel prices have spiked, adding to expenses during the busy summer travel season. Prices have risen about 30% since early July. That raises questions about how carriers were able to pass the costs along to customers, considering that fares have fallen from last year. The forecasts come as Southwest Airlines narrowed its unit revenue outlook for the current quarter and Alaska Airlines said higher fuel prices will eat into its pretax margin this quarter. United Airlines maintained its revenue forecast but said it expects fuel prices of as much as $3.05 for the quarter, which is higher than its July estimate of no more than $2.80 a gallon.

3. Roku layoffs

Rafael Henrique | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Roku said Wednesday that it will lay off 10% of its workforce, or about 360 people, in an effort to cut costs. The streaming software company also said it will consolidate office space, slow the pace of new hiring, and reduce outside service expenses to save money after a period of investment. Roku said in a regulatory filing that the moves aim to bring down its year-over-year operating expense growth rate. This is the company's third round of layoffs over the past year. Roku's stock rose 10% in early trading on Wednesday but pared back some of those gains to end the day almost 3% higher.

4. Covid spike

A sign advertises COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccine shots at a Walgreens Pharmacy in Somerville, Massachusetts, August 14, 2023.
Brian Snyder | Reuters
A sign advertises COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccine shots at a Walgreens Pharmacy in Somerville, Massachusetts, August 14, 2023.

Covid hospitalizations are increasing for the first time this year across much of the United States. New hospitalizations have risen about 16% in the U.S. over the past week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, part of an upward trend that started in late July. Before the summer surge, hospitalizations and deaths had declined week after week since January. The increase comes just as students are returning to school and Americans wait for updated booster shots to arrive at pharmacies this fall. PfizerModerna and Novavax's updated shots are expected to be ready later this month, but they were designed months ago to target a variant, XBB.1.5, that is no longer dominant.

5. Streaming season

Are you ready for some football? You better be ready to stream if so. The NFL regular season kicks off Thursday night and fans will find that more games than ever are going to be on streaming services — some exclusively. Paramount Global, Comcast's NBCUniversal, and Disney's ESPN showed football on their streaming platforms in past seasons and simultaneously aired them on traditional TV. This season, NBC's Peacock, Disney's ESPN+ and Amazon have games that will only be streamed as the companies look to bulk up their platforms. Google's YouTube TV will also take on a new role after the NFL sold the media rights for its "Sunday Ticket" to YouTube. Meanwhile, a record 73.5 million Americans said they plan to bet on the NFL this season, according to the American Gaming Association's latest survey. (Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.)

CNBC's Samantha Subin, Alex Harring, Leslie Josephs, Stefan Sykes, Spencer Kimball, Lillian Rizzo, Jessica Golden and Contessa Brewer contributed to this report.

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