5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday

Fed's Waller: Bringing inflation down will be slower and take longer than expected

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

1. What the Fed?

Stocks finished higher Thursday after Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic gave sort-of dovish commentary about what investors should expect from further rate hikes. He said that while some Fed officials think a half-percentage-point increase should be in the cards, he thinks a quarter-point raise would be doable. After the close, though, Fed Governor Christopher Waller swooped in with comments perceived to be more hawkish, saying the central bank could end up at a higher terminal rate if inflation data remains hot. (Bizarre side note: Waller didn’t actually get to deliver his prepared remarks Thursday. The event was canceled after a participant on the Zoom meeting showed explicit pornographic images.) Follow live markets updates.

2. ESPN aims to be a live sports hub


Mike Windle | ESPN | Getty Images

ESPN, the self-proclaimed “worldwide leader in sports,” is working on a way to get sports fans to go to its site and app to find out where live sporting events are being streamed or broadcast – even if they’re not being shown on ESPN. The sports network, which is owned by Disney, has had talks with major leagues and media rivals about setting up what would effectively be a TV guide to help fans find local or national games in an increasingly fractured and confusing environment, CNBC’s Alex Sherman reports. ESPN’s exploration of the idea comes as Disney CEO Bob Iger made the sports operation into a standalone unit within the company’s corporate structure. That’s putting a lot of scrutiny and pressure on ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro – and it comes with the potential for a big payoff as it’s clearer than ever how important ESPN is to Disney’s immediate future.

3. Recharging in progress

Ford CEO Jim Farley pats a Ford F-150 Lightning truck before announcing at a press conference that Ford Motor Company will be partnering with the world’s largest battery company, a China-based company called Contemporary Amperex Technology, to create an electric-vehicle battery plant in Marshall, Michigan, on February 13, 2023 in Romulus, Michigan.

Bill Pugliano | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Ford now has a date for when it will restart production of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup: March 13. That will mark more than a month since the vehicle fire that prompted the production pause. Ford said the stoppage is giving its battery supplier, SK On, more time to build and deliver battery packs to the plant in Michigan that makes the electric pickup trucks. The company is dealing with the Lightning issue as it tries to execute a turnaround following a rough 2022. Ford CEO Jim Farley last month blamed “execution issues” for the company’s lackluster fourth-quarter earnings.

4. Crypto bank in big trouble

Pavlo Gonchar | Lightrocket | Getty Images

The FTX contagion continues. Silvergate Capital’s stock fell more than 57% Thursday after the crypto bank delayed its annual financial report and warned it may not survive. The bank said it is trying to get a handle on the impact on the “sale of additional investment securities beyond what was previously anticipated.” Silvergate is also facing heat from investigators. The Justice Department said last month it is probing the bank’s dealings with since-indicted Sam Bankman-Fried’s failed crypto exchange FTX and its sister company Alameda Research.

5. Snow business like show business

The Hollywood sign stands in front of snow-covered mountains after another winter storm hit Southern California on March 01, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Mario Tama | Getty Images

That photo is real. Even La-La Land is getting a real taste of winter this year. Los Angeles County is one of 13 counties covered by an emergency declaration this week from Gov. Gavin Newsom as California, the Land of Sunshine itself, has been pounded by weirdly intense weather. Heavy snowfall amounts shut down highways, left people stranded in their homes and forced the closure of national parks. Check out stunning images of southern California’s wild winter.

– CNBC’s Hakyung Kim, Alex Sherman, Michael Wayland, Tanaya Macheel, Emma Newburger and Adam Jeffery contributed to this report.

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