Here are the key news investors need to start their trading day:
1. Stock futures are flat
Traders on the floor of the NYSE, August 1, 2022.
2. Walmart lays off corporate employees
A shopping cart outside a Walmart store in Torrance, California, U.S., Sunday, May 15, 2022. Walmart Inc. is scheduled to release earnings numbers on May 17.
Bing Guan | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Walmart, the largest private employer in the United States, has begun laying off corporate workers. The decision, which the company confirmed Wednesday, was announced a little more than a week after the Arkansas-based retail giant cut its outlook for full-year earnings and warned about the impact of inflation on discretionary spending. “Shoppers are changing. Customers are changing,” Walmart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield told CNBC’s Melissa Repko on Wednesday. “We’re doing some restructuring to make sure we’re aligned.” Read CNBC’s full story here.
3. Oil fluctuates after almost 6-month lows
Oil pumpjacks are seen in the Inglewood Oil Field in Los Angeles, California. Oil prices fell early Monday as investors prepared for this week’s meeting with officials from OPEC and other top producers on supply adjustments.
Mario Tama | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Oil bounced between gains and losses Thursday morning, a day after crude futures for both U.S. and international benchmarks fell nearly 4% to settle at their lowest levels since February. The move came as OPEC and its oil-producing allies said they would only increase production by 100,000 barrels per day in September. An unexpected increase in US crude oil and gasoline inventories also weighed on energy markets in Wednesday’s session. On Thursday morning, West Texas Intermediate futures traded as low as $90.15 a barrel.
4. Alibaba shares gain after earnings beat
More and more Asian companies have announced share buybacks in recent weeks. Chinese internet giant Alibaba has said it will increase its share buyback program from $15 billion to $25 billion.
Sheldon Cooper, SOPA Photos | LightRocket | Getty Images
5. The Bank of England raises interest rates by half a percentage point
General view of The Royal Exchange, Bank of England and City of London on a cloudy day.
Vuk Valcic | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images
The Bank of England raised interest rates by 50 basis points on Thursday, the biggest single-meeting hike in 27 years, as the British central bank tries to curb inflationary pressures. In particular, the Bank of England now estimates that the country’s economy will enter a recession in the fourth quarter of 2022 that could last more than a year. It expects headline inflation to peak in October, at 13.3%, and stay above its 2% target until 2025. Read the full story from CNBC’s Elliot Smith here.
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