5 things to know before the stock market opens Monday, December 5

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on December 2, 2022 in New York City.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

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

1. Waiting on the Fed

2. Covid hopes lift Chinese markets

A person walks past a poster encouraging elderly people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), near a residential compound in Beijing, China March 30, 2022. Picture taken March 30, 2022. 

Tingshu Wang | Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “zero Covid” policy has disrupted a key part of the global economy for a while now, often resulting in lockdowns that crimp supply chains and keep consumers sequestered for long stretches. There are signs it’s beginning to ease, however, after people across China took to the streets in recent weeks to protest the policy in a rare showing of unified resistance. Beijing and Shenzhen said over the weekend they would relax a rule that required negative Covid tests before travel. That, in turn, boosted Chinese stocks. Morgan Stanley analysts also upgraded its rating for Chinese equities, saying a “path towards reopening is finally set, likely bumpy but with no turning back.”

3. Oil recovers

OPEC+'s decision to 'hold steady' on oil policy was the right one, energy consultancy says

The news out of China also gave a little push to crude prices, which had been lagging in part because of concerns of lower demand from the nation of 1.4 billion. WTI crude futures traded above $80 early Monday morning, while Brent crude eclipsed $86. Oil prices also got some support from OPEC+, which said it would stick with its plan to cut production, even as the G-7 slapped a $60-a-barrel price cap on Russian oil. “It is the right decision to hold steady, especially if you don’t know how much, if at all, Russian production is going to fall after today,” Amrita Sen, head of research at energy consultancy Energy Aspects, told CNBC.

4. The race for no. 2

A worker works on the bed for the Ford Motor Co. battery powered F-150 Lightning trucks under production at their Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan on September 20, 2022.

Jeff Kowalsky | AFP | Getty Images

Tesla’s share of the U.S. electric vehicle market is shrinking, but it still dominates as traditional auto makers race to catch up. That makes the battle for second place the more compelling competition. Last week, Ford reported EV sales numbers that put it at no. 2, knocking out Hyundai (but only if you don’t count sales of Hyundai’s Nexo hydrogen fuel cell vehicle). And Hyundai is also at a disadvantage since its vehicles don’t qualify for U.S. EV tax credits anymore under President Joe Biden’s new Inflation Reduction Act. Ford says it now has 7.4% of the EV market in the U.S., which is up from 5.7% in November of last year. Tesla controls about 65% of the market, however, and Ford’s crosstown rival, General Motors, has set the ambitious goal to be no. 1 by the middle of the decade.

5. Explosions at Russian air base

Ukrainian servicemen drive an armored vehicle near the Toretsk frontline in Donbas, Ukraine, on Dec. 2, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

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