5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday, August 17

News Update – Pre-Markets

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

1. Rocky month

Stocks fell Wednesday for the second consecutive day as investors digested news from the Federal Reserve. The Nasdaq Composite fell more than 1.15%, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.76%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped by 180.65 points, or 0.52%. August has been a rocky month for stocks, and the major averages are well in negative territory. Valuations have also been falling from their lofty heights. Follow live market updates.

2. Decisions, decisions

The Federal Reserve released minutes from its latest meeting in July that showed officials are still concerned about the pace of inflation. Fed members also noted that more rate hikes could be coming unless conditions change. The Fed raised rates by a quarter percentage point at its July meeting, bringing the federal funds rate to the highest level in more than 22 years. The minutes also showed uncertainty among members, however, with some saying they thought the committee could skip a hike and see how previous efforts were affecting the economy.

3. Walmart earnings

Walmart‘s discount reputation keeps drawing customers. The big-box retailer raised its full-year forecast when it released its second-quarter earnings Thursday morning before the bell — a notable contrast to Target, which cut its forecast the day before. Walmart also topped analysts’ expectations for sales and profits. Chief Financial Officer John David Rainey told CNBC’s Melissa Repko that seasonal moments, such as the Fourth of July holiday and back-to-school, have helped drive sales. He also said Walmart is starting to see “modest improvement” with big-ticket purchases, which have seen weaker sales as consumers have focused on necessities such as food.

4. Hawaii wildfires

The wildfires in Hawaii have left the town of Lahaina devastated. More than 100 people are missing and thousands more are homeless after the deadliest wildfire in the U.S. in more than century. The town of Lahaina in Hawaii will have to be completely rebuilt, and residents are now worried that outside developers will swoop in to buy up valuable land on Maui once the reconstruction process starts. Hawaii Gov. Josh Green even warned mainlanders not to invest in property, saying the Hawaii state government is considering acquiring land in Lahaina to protect it. Meanwhile, Hawaiian Electric, the state’s biggest power utility, is being investigated for the role it might have played in the fire, with a lawsuit arguing years of inaction and negligence contributed to the spread.

5. Hi, Barbie!

Pink is the new black. “Barbie” has breezed past Batman to become the highest-grossing domestic movie in Warner Bros. Discovery‘s 100-year history. With $537 million at the domestic box office, “Barbie” has topped the company’s previous domestic record set in 2008 with “The Dark Knight.” The bubblegum pink box office hit has earned more than $1.2 billion worldwide since it was released July 21 and is on track to be the highest-grossing film of the year.

CNBC’s Hakyung Kim, Alex Harring, Pia Singh, Jeff Cox, Spencer Kimball, Sarah Whitten, Melissa Repko and NBC News contributed to this report.

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