5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday, October 20



Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, October 14, 2022.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

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

1. Yielding to reality

2. Tesla sticks to the plan

Elon Musk said Friday that SpaceX cannot continue fund Starlink terminals in Ukraine “indefinitely” in light of the cost. However, Musk, who is also CEO of electric car company Tesla, he said Saturday that SpaceX will keep funding the Ukrainian government “for free” even though Starlink is “still losing money.”

Adrees Latif | Reuters

“We’re very pedal to the metal, come rain or shine,” Elon Musk said Wednesday, after Tesla reported quarterly earnings. He was talking about a potential recession and whether that might mean a production slowdown for his industry-leading electric vehicle company. “We are not reducing our production in any meaningful way, recession or not recession,” he said. Tesla posted earnings that came in above expectations, but its stock slid after hours because revenue missed projections.

Read more: Wall Street will be watching automakers for signs of weaker demand

3. Biden boosts EVs, slams oil companies

U.S. President Joe Biden holds a video conference event with electric battery industry grant winners, related to recent infrastructure initiatives, from the White House in Washington, October 19, 2022.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Speaking of EVs, President Joe Biden on Wednesday awarded $2.8 billion in grants to boost battery production for the vehicles. The funds, which come from Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure law, will go to companies in at least 12 states. The Energy Department said the projects will help develop lithium to supply about 2 million EVs each year, graphite to supply about 1.2 million EVs annually, and nickel to supply about 400,000 EVs every year. On the flip side, with the midterm elections right around the corner, Biden urged oil companies to invest their profits in more production instead of buybacks. Gas prices are well below their peak from earlier this year, but they’re still high, and voters are worried most about inflation and the economy.

4. Ukraine limits power usage

Women walk past a billboard reading “Citizens, you are free!”, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the recently retaken town of Kupiansk, Ukraine, October 18, 2022.

Clodagh Kilcoyne | Reuters

5. Anarchy in the UK

British PM Liz Truss refuses to step down: 'I am a fighter and not a quitter'

Even with a new finance minister in place, along with a revamped economic plan, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss’s government is teetering on the edge of complete failure. After just six weeks on the job, Truss is facing pressure from multiple sides to quit after her government plunged UK markets into chaos with its proposals to cut taxes for the wealthy while the nation deals with high levels of inequality and a cost-of-living crisis. Truss told a heated session of Parliament on Wednesday that she was a “fighter, not a quitter.” But then another member of her Cabinet quit, and one member of her Conservative Party said she only has Thursday and maybe Friday to turn things around.

– CNBC’s Sarah Min, Jonathan Vanian, Emma Newburger, Emma Kinery, Holly Ellyatt and Annie Nova contributed to this report.

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