5 things to know before the stock exchange opens on Thursday 31 March

  • Lawmakers continue to hammer banking regulators over SVB’s collapse.
  • Russia arrests an American reporter from The Wall Street Journal.
  • It’s Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. The pressure is on Steve Cohen’s Mets.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 29, 2023.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Here are the key news investors need to start their trading day:

Shares retreated on Wednesday. All three major indexes finished higher, thanks in large part to technology names such as Amazon and Meta. Indeed, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is on track for its best quarter since the last three months of 2020. Thursday’s futures also looked rosy as investors waited to hear from three Fed speakers in the afternoon: Boston Federal Reserve President Susan Collins, Richmond Fed -President Thomas Barkin and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari. Follow live market updates.

Michael Barr, deputy chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, left, and Martin Gruenberg, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and Nellie Liang, under secretary for domestic finance at the U.S. Treasury Department, during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington , DC, Wednesday, March 29, 2023.

Anna Rose Layden | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Senators had the chance to take the nation’s top banking regulators to task over the meltdown of Silicon Valley Bank earlier this week. It was the House Financial Services Committee’s turn on Wednesday. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle peppered Federal Reserve Deputy Chairman Michael Barr, FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Treasury Department chief Nellie Liang with tough questions and demands for transparency. Rep. Patrick McHenry, the North Carolina Republican who chairs the committee, pointed out that there were no publicly available notes from regulator meetings over the weekend SVB and Signature Bank failed. “This lack of transparency has a negative effect on the public’s view of the safety of the financial arena,” he said.

Apple just gave everyone the big announcement they were waiting for. The tech giant’s Worldwide Developers Conference is set for June 5 to June 9, with CEO Tim Cook kicking things off. Typically, Apple will use the event to unveil new iPhones, iPads and software. However, this year could be different, as the company is widely expected to unveil an augmented reality headset. And, as CNBC’s Kif Leswing points out, Apple could use the opportunity to show off powerful new Macs to the developer-heavy crowd at the conference.

A photo taken on July 24, 2021 shows WSJ journalist Evan Gershkovich, who has been detained in Russia.

Dimitar Dilkoff | Afp | Getty Images

Russian authorities arrested American journalist Evan Gershkovich, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, on suspicion of espionage. The Journal fired back, strongly rejecting the rationale for Gershkovich’s detention. “The Wall Street Journal strongly denies the allegations by the FSB and calls for the immediate release of our trusted and dedicated reporter, Evan Gershkovich. We stand in solidarity with Evan and his family,” the paper said in a statement. Russia is notorious for its harsh treatment of the press. The non-profit organization Reporters Without Frontiers lists Russia as one of the worst countries for independent journalism, saying it has gotten worse since the nation’s forces invaded Ukraine. Follow live war updates.

New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) rounds the bases after hitting home run number sixty-two to break the American League home run record in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field.

Tim Heitman | USA TODAY Sports | Reuters

A new Major League Baseball season is underway. Recent World Series champions the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals are slated to get things rolling early Thursday afternoon, as superstar slugger Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees square off with the San Francisco Giants. (By the way, the Yankees’ YES Network just launched its own streaming app.) The defending World Series champions, the Houston Astros, are scheduled to open the season at home against the Chicago White Sox. There’s also a lot of hype surrounding the New York Mets, who flamed out in the playoffs last year after a 101-win regular season — despite an elephantine salary funded by majority owner and Wall Street billionaire Steve Cohen.

– CNBC’s Alex Harring, Christina Wilkie, Chelsey Cox, Kif Leswing, Holly Ellyatt and Alex Sherman contributed to this report.

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