5 things you should know before the stock market opens on Wednesday

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

1. ‘Wait and See’

Stocks have struggled for momentum so far in 2024, with the Dow Jones industrial average down nearly half a percent in the first six trading days of the new year. The S&P 500 fell 0.25% year-to-date and the Nasdaq Composite fell more than 1%. According to Emily Roland, co-chief investment strategist at John Hancock Investment Management, stocks are in “wait and see” mode. The back half of this week brings two key inflation reports and the unofficial start of earnings season. “It almost looks like we ended the year with a Fed pivot party, and we’re potentially having a bit of a hangover right now,” Roland said. Follow live market updates.

2. Not so fast

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler attends a meeting of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Stability Oversight Board in Washington, DC on July 28, 2023.

Kevin Dietsch | pictures of etta

The Securities and Exchange Commission gave crypto investors hope late Tuesday, then quickly brought them back down to earth. The SEC said its account on X, formerly Twitter, was compromised when it posted an announcement that bitcoin ETFs had been approved for trading. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler hopped on his own X account to say the post was unauthorized and not made by the SEC or its staff. In other words: the agency still hasn’t decided on the funding. Bitcoin prices rose on the first fake post and then quickly fell below $46,000. Crypto advocates have been waiting for years for the SEC to announce bitcoin ETFs, and expect news on the issue this week. Such vehicles are said to bring new investors into digital assets.

3. Home prices are skyrocketing

A “For Sale” sign hangs outside a home on the west side of Detroit, Michigan.

Fabrizio Costantini | Bloomberg | Getty Images

House prices went higher and higher. That’s thanks in part to falling mortgage rates, which have boosted demand. However, supply remains limited, leading to the classic problem of supply and demand. Home prices jumped 5.2% year-on-year in November, compared with a 4.7% annual gain in October, according to analyst firm CoreLogic. New hot spot? Detroit, which saw the largest year-over-year price increase of 8.7%. It surpassed Miami for the first time after the Florida city held the crown for 16 months. Prices are expected to soften next year, but it all depends on how many homes become available.

4. Back to court

Former US President Donald Trump leaves after a brief news conference at a hotel following a district court hearing on Trump’s claim of immunity in a federal case accusing him of illegally trying to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election, in Washington, US, 09/2024.

Nathan Howard | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump and his lawyers argued in court Tuesday that he is immune from prosecution for actions he took while in office. A panel of three federal appeals judges appeared skeptical of Trump’s case that unless the president is convicted by the Senate in a formal impeachment vote, he cannot be prosecuted for official acts. The Justice Department’s special counsel indicted Trump in Washington, DC, on four counts, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and obstructing official proceedings. Trump has pleaded not guilty. The decision will have major implications for Trump’s legal battles, his 2024 presidential aspirations and the executive branch in general.

5. Shoot for the moon

The full moon known as the “Strawberry Moon” is pictured on NASA’s next-generation lunar rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS) Artemis 1, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on June 15, 2022.

Joe Skipper | Reuters

…but not quite yet. US lunar company Astrobotic has called off its attempted soft landing on the moon – which would have been the country’s first in more than 50 years. The Peregrine lander successfully deployed after liftoff on the inaugural mission of the United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket. But shortly after that, the spacecraft’s propulsion system malfunctioned and began to lose fuel. The company now says there is “no chance” of landing on the moon. Meanwhile, NASA has shelved its lunar ambitions and pushed the timeline of its flagship Artemis program to the moon. The space agency now expects Artemis 2, the program’s first crewed launch, to take place in 2025 and Artemis 3, which aims to carry astronauts to the lunar surface, to lift off in 2026. This is the latest delay to a program that is already significantly delays and billions over budget as NASA’s commercial partners work to complete the necessary technology.

CNBC’s Samantha Subin, Jesse Pound, Diana Olick, Dan Mangan, Kevin Breuninger and Michael Sheetz contributed to this report.

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