CNBC Daily Open: Markets cheered the lack of news

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This report is from today's CNBC Daily Open, our new, international markets newsletter. CNBC Daily Open brings investors up to speed on everything they need to know, no matter where they are. Like what you see? You can subscribe here.

What you need to know today

Wobbly markets
U.S. markets rose slightly Friday, helping the S&P 500 break a down streak of three days. But major indexes still finished the week lower. Asia-Pacific markets were mixed Monday. China's Shanghai Composite added around 0.6%, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 1.68%, weighed down by Alibaba shares (more on that below).

Parting from Alibaba cloud
Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba slumped around 3.6% today after the company made a surprise announcement that outgoing CEO Daniel Zhang will also be stepping down as chairman and CEO of its cloud business. Eddie Wu, who will take over the role of CEO in September, will be the interim chairman and CEO of Alibaba's cloud unit.

G20's softer statement
The Group of 20 nations reached a joint communique highlighting the human suffering caused by Russia's war in Ukraine — but left out more overt criticism from last year's statement, drawing Ukraine's condemnation. U.S. President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced a plan to develop a transport network that will connect India, the EU and Middle Eastern countries.

IPO for Instacart
Grocery delivery company Instacart is looking to go public at a valuation of between $8.6 billion and $9.3 billion, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. That's a far cry from its valuation of $25 billion, estimated by Instacart, around March last year. Still, Instacart's planned initial public offering is a big step in reviving the IPO market, which has been moribund this year.

[PRO] What China slowdown?
Economic data coming out from China may have looked dismal in recent months. But Chinese companies are still dominating their industries — on a global scale. Three of them, in particular, remain strong even as their peers have started to flag amid a slowing economy.

The bottom line

A quick recap of last week. On Monday, U.S. markets were closed. When they reopened Tuesday, stocks fell on rising oil prices. They continued dropping Wednesday because data showed input prices increased in August. The next day, a stubbornly tight labor market and reports of China's ban on Apple devices at government agencies pressurized stocks.

And, finally, on Friday, markets rose. The S&P 500 inched up 0.14%, snapping its three-day losing streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.22% and the Nasdaq Composite squeezed out a 0.09% gain.

The reason for this hard-earned gain? There was, for the first day during the week, no significant news, whether good or bad. Every bit of information that could move markets during the week indeed moved markets — negatively.

To markets already jolted by a downbeat August and desperate for more signs of the interest rate trajectory, good news was bad news and bad news was bad news. In other words, any news was bad news.

"When you think of the economy, it's a Catch-22 for investors," Bryce Doty, a senior vice president and portfolio manager at Sit Investment Associates, said. "If it looks like we're going to avoid the hard landing, we get some good economic news, and there's a sigh of relief quickly followed up by an increased expectation of Fed rate increases."

So, on Friday, no news was good news.

But that couldn't save major indexes from a losing week. The S&P fell 1.3% and the Nasdaq lost 1.9%, their first negative week in three. The Dow ended the week around 0.8% lower.

This week looks to be different because there's no lack of heavy-hitting economic data, in the form of August's CPI report. But this time, any good news — in other words, lower-than-expected CPI — will be straightforwardly good.

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