- President Biden showed solidarity with Israel during a visit there.
- United Airlines warned the Israel-Hamas war could hurt its bottom line.
- Mortgage demand slides to the lowest level since 1995.
Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
Stocks didn’t do all to much Tuesday. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 each declined slightly, while the Dow barely finished in the green. Futures were down Wednesday morning. Earnings season marches on in the meantime. Before the open, we have Morgan Stanley and Procter & Gamble, while Tesla and Netflix report after the close. As for economic data, the housing market is in focus Wednesday, with housing starts and mortgage demand reports due. (See below for more on housing.) Follow live market updates.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) greets U.S. President Joe Biden upon his arrival at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport on October 18, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.
Brendan Smialowski | Afp | Getty Images
President Joe Biden visited Israel in a show of solidarity with the Israeli people as the country counters the brutal Hamas terrorist attacks of Oct. 7 that killed 1,400. Biden’s visit came as Israeli and Palestinian officials blamed each other for a blast at a Gaza hospital that killed about 500 people. Speaking in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, Biden suggested that he believed Israel wasn’t responsible for the explosion. The president’s scheduled visit to meet with officials in Jordan was canceled, as anger at the U.S. grew in the region over its support for Israel. So far, about 3,000 are dead in Gaza as the war rages on. Follow live updates.
A United Airlines plane is seen taxiing on the tarmac at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida.
Paul Hennessy | Lightrocket | Getty Images
United Airlines warned investors that its suspension of Tel Aviv flights, forced by the Israel-Hamas war, will weigh on its bottom line for the current quarter. How much of an impact will depend on how long the war, and, consequently, the halt continue. United also blamed the profit pressure on airport jet fuel costs, which have surged nearly 25% since the beginning of summer. For the third quarter, United posted earnings and revenue growth that topped Wall Street’s expectations.
Contractors raise a framed wall on a house under construction at the Toll Brothers Regency at Folsom Ranch community in Folsom, California, on Thursday, May 18, 2023.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Real estate is scary these days. Homebuilder sentiment fell to its lowest point in 10 months, dipping further into negative territory as rising mortgage rates scare off buyers. Indeed, mortgage demand fell to the lowest level since 1995, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Fewer people are refinancing, as well, given that many homeowners locked in low rates as the Federal Reserve kept the cost of money low for years. Now the already-expensive housing market has to contend with higher rates as the Fed fights inflation and yields on the 10-year Treasury remain elevated.
Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) laughs at something he saw on his mobile phone and hands the phone off to Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-WI) as they sit behind U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the top contender in the race to be the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, during the first round of voting for a new Speaker on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 17, 2023.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
The House of Representatives failed to elect a speaker, yet again, as super conservative Trump ally Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, flopped in his first attempt to win the gavel. The next vote is expected late Wednesday morning, while Jordan continues to jockey for votes. “We got to keep talking to members,” Jordan told reporters late Tuesday. The House GOP caucus is divided as it tries to find a replacement for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, whom eight far-right Republicans helped oust from the job. Just days ago, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., earlier pulled out of contention because he couldn’t secure enough votes.
– CNBC’s Samantha Subin, Emma Kinery, Sam Meredith, Natasha Turak, Leslie Josephs, Diana Olick and Spencer Kimball contributed to this report.
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