5 things to know before the stock market opens on Thursday, September 28

  • UAW threatens to expand strike.
  • Metabanks on AI as it moves forward with transformation.
  • Donald Trump dominated the GOP debate without even being there.

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

There are only two trading days until the end of the month, which can’t come fast enough for the bulls. Stocks are on pace to close September — and the third quarter, for that matter — in the red. While job growth remains strong, consumers still face higher prices and interest rates as the Federal Reserve attempts to bring inflation down to its 2% target level. The end of the quarter also means earnings season will begin within weeks, so investors will get a clearer look at how companies view the consumer situation heading into the holiday season. Follow live market updates.

UAW workers picket outside Ford’s Wayne assembly plant on September 26, 2023 in Wayne, Michigan.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

The United Auto Workers union plans to reveal new strike locations on Friday if negotiations with automakers don’t make significant progress. The strike began in three facilities and expanded to dozens more last week. The UAW saved Ford from expansion last week. As of now, more than 12% of UAW members are on strike. The union’s next move comes after both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, potential rivals in next year’s presidential election, visited Michigan to rally support. Biden appeared on a picket line with striking UAW workers, while Trump spoke at a non-union auto parts facility.

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Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a Meta Connect event at Meta headquarters in Menlo Park, California on September 27, 2023.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg still relies on the Metaverse in a big way. The CEO of Meta Platforms reviewed the new artificial intelligence software, along with the company’s Quest 3 virtual reality headset and Ray-Ban smart glasses. “Before this last year of AI breakthroughs, I kind of thought that smart glasses were going to become ubiquitous once we actually connected to, you know, holograms and displays and all those things, which we’re making progress on,” Zuckerberg said at a virtual reality developer conference. Silicon Valley is a rapidly evolving AI arms race, with companies like Meta and Alphabet’s Google competing with the rapid rise of OpenAI and its ChatGPT software.

Company /AFP) via Getty Images)

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has secured its first contract with the Pentagon for its Starshield military satellite service, building on the company’s already lucrative relationships with the US military. A Space Force spokesperson told CNBC that the contract calls for end-to-end service through SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation, as well as user terminals, other equipment, network management and related services. However, the new contract comes under a cloud of controversy, with several lawmakers criticizing the Pentagon’s ties with Musk — most recently after revelations that he denied Ukraine internet service that would have helped it launch a drone attack on the Russian Navy.

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses auto workers as he skips the second Republican Party debate, in Clinton Township, Michigan, September 27, 2023.

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Rebecca Cook | Reuters

Once again, Donald Trump has not matched his rivals in the 2024 Republican primary. And once again, Trump still dominates the spotlight. The former president, who faces four criminal indictments and a civil case threatening his business empire, spoke at a rally at a non-union facility Wednesday night in Michigan in an attempt to secure blue-collar support amid the UAW strike. Meanwhile, in California, seven candidates for the nomination, all trailing Trump in the polls, competed in a chaotic, attack-filled debate. While Nikki Haley has made some progress in the race in recent weeks, the debate is unlikely to have any impact on the race or Trump’s standing. Read CNBC’s recap of this evening.

— CNBC’s Alex Haring, Michael Wayland, Jonathan Vanian, Michael Sheetz, Kevin Breuninger and Brian Schwartz contributed to this report.

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