5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday4 min read


Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:

1. Dow set to drop as Walmart declines on disappointing earnings

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Source: The New York Stock Exchange

2. Walmart missed on earnings, beat on revenue; CEO to boost wages

A worker wearing a protective mask arranges shopping carts outside a Walmart store in Duarte, California, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020.

David Swanson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

3. What to expect from GameStop hearing with Robinhood, Citadel, Reddit CEOs

Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

4. How Texas power grid failed and what could stop it from happening again

Pike Electric service trucks line up after a snow storm on February 16, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas. Winter storm Uri has brought historic cold weather and power outages to Texas as storms have swept across 26 states with a mix of freezing temperatures and precipitation.

Ron Jenkins | Getty Images

More than 500,000 households in Texas are still without power Thursday morning, according to poweroutage.us, following Sunday night’s historic cold and snow that caused the state’s worst blackouts in decades. Millions of people were in the dark at the height of the crisis, which was caused by a confluence of factors. Officials are already calling for investigations. Experts said there are a number of steps that Texas can take to combat future problems, including weatherizing equipment and increasing the amount of excess supply needed to meet peak power demand.

5. U.S. life expectancy drops a year in pandemic, most since WWII

Cemetery worker Keith Yatcko prepares a grave for a burial at the State Veterans Cemetery amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Middletown, Connecticut, U.S., May 13, 2020.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

Life expectancy in the U.S. dropped a staggering one year during the first half of 2020 as the pandemic caused the first wave of coronavirus deaths. Minorities suffered the biggest impact, with Black Americans losing nearly three years and Hispanics, nearly two years, according to preliminary estimates Thursday from the CDC. “You have to go back to World War II, the 1940s, to find a decline like this,” said Robert Anderson, who oversees the numbers for the CDC. It’s already known that 2020 was the deadliest year in U.S. history, with deaths topping 3 million for the first time.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all the developments on Wall Street in real time with CNBC Pro’s live markets blog. Get the latest on the pandemic with our coronavirus blog.

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