5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday, October 27

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  • Stock prices are heading for a losing week.
  • Amazon’s profit margin is impressive.
  • The US says it has hit Iranian targets in Syria.

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

Stock prices are on track for a losing week as we enter Friday. The three major US indices also all had a particularly difficult day on Thursday, with both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 falling more than 1%, and the Dow Jones falling 250 points. The market is chewing on key earnings from Amazon, Ford and Intel as it gears up for another set of quarterly results next week. On the data front, Friday brings the latest incarnation of the Federal Reserve’s favorite inflation gauge, personal consumption expenditures (PCE) for September. Follow live market updates.

Andy Jassy, ​​CEO of Amazon


Amazon’s operating margin is a little fatter these days. The e-commerce and cloud giant said it achieved a 7.8% margin in the third quarter, its best performance since reporting an 8.2% margin in the first quarter of 2021. CEO Andy Jassy’s cost-cutting mission is a big part of this. and it’s not done yet: Amazon is putting on the brakes a bit on adding staff. The market also seems to like what it sees from Jassy. Amazon shares soared in after-hours trading.

Ford Motor Co. fuel-powered F-150 trucks in production at their truck factory in Dearborn, Michigan on September 20, 2022.

Jeff Kowalsky | AFP | Getty Images

It was an eventful week for Ford. The company was the first of the Detroit Three automakers to strike a deal with the United Auto Workers Union, ending a nearly six-week work stoppage that cost it $1.3 billion. (Negotiations between the UAW and GM and Stellantis continue.) Then came Ford’s earnings. Although the company posted a profit in the third quarter, cost and quality issues were still visible. Then there’s the electric car sector, which posted a $1.33 billion loss in the third quarter. In turn, citing weaker-than-expected customer demand, Ford deferred $12 billion in EV investments.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin gives a press conference during the NATO Council Defense Ministers’ Session at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on October 12, 2023.

Simon Wohlfahrt | AFP | Getty Images

US forces launched airstrikes in Syria, targeting areas officials said were being used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the “narrowly targeted” strikes were carried out in self-defense, in retaliation for attacks on US forces in the region. This move comes at a time when the Middle East is approaching a boiling point. The Israeli government is debating launching a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip in response to the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks. Iran is also facing even harsher criticism for its support of militant groups such as Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Follow live war updates.

A Chevron gas station is shown in Austin, Texas, on October 23, 2023.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Exxon Mobil and Chevron both reported their quarterly results before the bell on Friday. Each of the oil giants posted a sharp decline in profits from the previous year’s quarter, even as oil prices were higher. Exxon’s results were hurt by higher costs in its chemicals business, and Chevron said profits from its upstream business fell nearly 40% during the quarter. The results come shortly after both companies announced blockbuster deals. Exxon has agreed to the acquisition of shale player Pioneer Natural Resources and pipeline operator Denbury. Chevron, meanwhile, recently agreed to acquire Hess for $53 billion.

– CNBC’s Lisa Kailai Han, Annie Palmer, Michael Wayland, John Rosevear, Katrina Bishop, Ruxandra Iordache and Reuters contributed to this report.

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