5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday, May 11

  • Disney’s earnings signal the end of the streaming wars.
  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is in Japan for G-7 meetings.
  • Microsoft puts pay raises on hold as it cuts costs.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, May 10, 2023.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

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

Wednesday was another mixed day for stocks. The Dow closed slightly down, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 finished a little higher as investors chewed over April’s consumer price index. That data showed inflation is indeed slowing down, but at the expected pace, which means we’re like a ways off from the Federal Reserve cutting rates after hiking them 10 times since last year. On Thursday, markets will process April’s producer price index, which measures inflation at the wholesale level. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones estimate that it rose 0.3% month to month. Follow live market updates.

The Disney+ website on a laptop computer in the Brooklyn borough of New York, US, on Monday, July 18, 2022.

Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Investors didn’t care for what they saw out of Disney earnings Wednesday, sending the stock down more than 5% in off-hours trading. The company’s streaming operations posted a loss, albeit a smaller one than expected, as Disney pushes to make that business profitable. Disney+ actually lost subscribers during the most recent quarter, but revenue per user was higher thanks in large part to recent price increases. Taking all of that together, along with other media companies’ recent results, it’s clear the streaming wars are over, at least in the sense of a growth narrative, according to CNBC’s Alex Sherman. That means the industry needs to look elsewhere for growth – and gaming might be the way.

Janet Yellen, US Treasury secretary, during a news conference at the Group of Seven (G-7) finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Niigata, Japan, on Thursday, May 11, 2023.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is in Japan for meetings with fellow finance ministers from G-7 countries, but the debt ceiling remains front and center for her given that the United States’ credibility in global markets is at stake. Yellen again warned of economic catastrophe if Congress fails to address the debt limit. “The notion of defaulting on our debt is something that would so badly undermine the U.S. and global economy that I think it should be regarded by everyone as unthinkable,” she said. “America should never default.” Yellen said this in response to a question about leading GOP presidential contender Donald Trump urging Republicans to let the U.S. default if Democrats don’t agree to sweeping spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit.

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., during the company’s Ignite Spotlight event in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. Nadella gave a keynote speech at an event hosted by the company’s Korean unit.

SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Microsoft is putting pay raises on hold for salaried employees as the tech giant continues its cost-cutting efforts. The move comes after Microsoft said earlier this year it would cut nearly 5% of its workforce. Last year, the company beefed up its budget for merit pay increases and stock awards as inflation surged. “We will maintain our bonus and stock award budget again this year, however, we will not overfund to the extent we did last year, bringing it closer to our historical averages,” CEO Satya Nadella said in an email to employees. Performance bonuses for executives will also come down significantly, he said. Big tech companies in general are trimming costs and jobs after a year of share price declines that followed a period of rapid growth during the earlier days of the pandemic.

Ukrainian servicemen of the Adam tactical group ride a T-64 tank towards a front line near the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on May 7, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sergey Shestak | Afp | Getty Images

The division between the pro-Russia mercenary Wagner Group and Russia’s defense ministry has grown more severe in recent days. Wagner’s leader has threatened to pull out of the protracted fight for Ukraine’s Bakhmut due to a lack of supplies. Russian forces, likewise, have pulled back somewhat in that fight, as Ukrainian fighters reclaim ground. All of this comes as Ukraine is expected to launch a new counteroffensive backed by western money and weaponry. Russia, meanwhile, is accelerating its efforts to recruit prisoners to fight. Follow live war updates.

– CNBC’s Hakyung Kim, Sarah Whitten, Alex Sherman, Jihye Lee, Jordan Novet and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.

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