5 things you need to know before the stock market opens on Friday, December 16

Traders work on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 14, 2022.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

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

1. Desperate for Santa Claus

How how how? More like, no no no. It’s been a terrible week for stocks and hopes for a Santa Claus meeting are fading. US stocks are on the verge of their second week of losses in a row. Markets fell sharply on Thursday as investors processed the aggressive comments and outlook from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell the day before. Slow retail sales heading into the holiday season didn’t help either, even though they signaled a slowing economy, which is what the Fed wants to reduce inflation. Instead, it becomes an environment where the Fed keeps rates higher for an extended period of time, regardless of what happens in the coming months. Read live market updates here.

2. Twitter targets journalists

STR| Nurphoto | Getty Images

Twitter suspended the accounts of several journalists and commentators reporting on the company and its billionaire owner Tesla CEO Elon Musk. As of Thursday night, the social media platform had suspended Ryan Mac’s accounts The New York Times, CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell, Mashable’s Matt Binder, The Intercept’s Micah Lee, Voice of America’s Steve Herman, as well as independent figures Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann, and Tony Webster. Musk, who has billed himself as a “free speech absolutist,” suggested on Twitter that the suspensions of journalists were in the same spirit of discipline against flight-tracking accounts, including one that tracked the whereabouts of the CEO’s private jet.

3. US pressures Chinese chipmaker

This illustration photo, taken on February 25, 2022, shows semiconductor chips on a computer circuit board.

Florence Lo | Reuters

The Biden administration on Thursday unveiled restrictions against several mostly Chinese entities, including a chipmaker, over national security concerns. The chip company, Yangtze Memory Technologies Corporation, or YMTC, was already on a US trade blacklist. The move is designed to hinder China’s ability to use “artificial intelligence, advanced computers and other powerful commercially available technologies for military modernization and human rights violations,” a Commerce Ministry official said. The move also comes as the government seeks to bolster semiconductor production on US soil.

4. Adobe delivers

Low angle view of sign with logo on facade at the office of computer software company Adobe in the South of Market (SoMA) neighborhood in San Francisco, California, June 10, 2019.

Smith Collection/gado | Archival Photos | Getty Images

Adobe on Thursday posted quarterly results that beat analysts’ expectations, as the design software maker stuck to its full fiscal year forecast. The stock rose on the positive news, though it fell more than 40% year-over-year, much more than the drop in the broad S&P 500 index. “We delivered record operating cash flows with a focus on profitability,” Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said during an earnings call. Still, he also warned that a slowing economy could hurt the company and that Adobe would proceed with caution.

5. Flipped

An unsurprising victim of the rapid cooling in the housing market is the home-flipping segment. Profits from flips, defined as when a home is bought and sold within a 12-month period, fell 18.4% in the third quarter from the second. That’s the biggest quarterly decline in more than a decade, according to real estate data provider ATTOM. It’s a double whammy for house flippers: House prices are still high, but they’re falling rapidly, while renovation costs have also skyrocketed. “With buyer demand weakening, prices falling in recent months and financing rates significantly higher than at the start of the year, flippers face a much tougher environment today, and likely in 2023 as well,” Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM, said in a release.

– CNBC’s Alex Harring, Kevin Breuninger, Jordan Novet and Diana Olick contributed to this report.

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