5 things to know before the stock market opens Monday, January 30

Traders on the floor of the NYSE

Source: NYSE

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

1. Rally faces tests this week

The January rally has hung in there, weathering a mixed bag of earnings reports and forecast cuts, as well as some soft economic data. This week it will run into some big tests, given the earnings schedule dominated by big tech names (more on that below) and the Federal Reserve’s next moves. The Fed’s policy-setting committee meets Tuesday and Wednesday. Market watches expect the Fed to raise its benchmark rate by a quarter of a point, which would be smaller than the past few increases, so most of the focus will be on what Chairman Jerome Powell says about the Fed’s outlook following the announcement Wednesday. Read live markets updates here.

2. Apple and Amazon lead earnings slate

3. Renault aims to cut Nissan stake

Two automotive titans are attempting to shake things up as the industry moves more aggressively into electric vehicles. France’s Renault and Japan’s Nissan have agreed to restructure their agreement, which they struck in 1999. Under the deal, which requires approvals from their respective boards of directors, Renault would cut its holdings in Nissan to 15% from 43%, distributing a large chunk to a French trust that would have “neutralized” voting rights. Nissan also agreed to invest in Ampere, which is Renault’s electric vehicle business. The two will also work on “high-value-creation operational projects” in Latin America, India and Europe, they said.

4. Walmart presses its advantages

Walmart has weathered recent ups and downs in the retail space better than many of its smaller competitors, especially Target. Why? Because of its grocery business (the biggest in the country) and its scale. Even as supply chain problems and staffing imbalances cut into margins, Walmart still could rely on the strength of its low-cost grocery offerings to lure in even higher-income shoppers looking for value. The overall health and size of its business allows it to mix things up and try new things. Its sleek new store format, which reminds some of Target, fits the bill, especially as Walmart tries to hold on to those more affluent customers shopping the grocery aisles. The remodel is rolling out slowly, but it’s already turning some heads in big population centers.

5. The latest from Ukraine

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