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Top News for Investors: Stocks, Biden’s Visit, War Impact, Housing Market, and Speaker Election

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

1. Feeling flat

Stocks didn’t do much on Tuesday. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 each declined slightly, while the Dow barely finished in the green. Futures were down on Wednesday morning. Earnings season is ongoing, with Morgan Stanley and Procter & Gamble reporting before the market opens, and Tesla and Netflix reporting after the market closes. In terms of economic data, the housing market is in focus with housing starts and mortgage demand reports due. Follow live market updates.

2. High-stakes trip

President Joe Biden visited Israel to show solidarity with the Israeli people as the country faces brutal Hamas terrorist attacks. Biden’s visit came amid tensions between Israeli and Palestinian officials over a blast at a Gaza hospital. 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 due to growing anger in the region over U.S. support for Israel. The death toll in Gaza continues to rise as the conflict persists. Follow live updates.

3. War impact

United Airlines warned investors that its suspension of Tel Aviv flights due to the Israel-Hamas war will affect its financial performance in the current quarter. The extent of the impact depends on the duration of the war and the flight suspension. United also cited profit pressure from airport jet fuel costs, which have risen significantly. In the third quarter, United reported earnings and revenue growth that exceeded expectations.

4. Housing horrors

The real estate market is facing challenges. Homebuilder sentiment has reached its lowest point in 10 months, driven by rising mortgage rates that deter buyers. Mortgage demand has also dropped to its lowest level since 1995. Fewer homeowners are refinancing as they locked in low rates when the Federal Reserve kept interest rates low. Now, the housing market must cope with higher rates as the Fed fights inflation and yields on the 10-year Treasury remain elevated.

5. Still no speaker

The House of Representatives failed to elect a speaker, with Rep. Jim Jordan, an ally of former President Trump, failing in his first attempt. The next vote is expected later in the morning, while Jordan continues to seek support. The House GOP caucus is divided as it searches for a replacement for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted with the help of eight far-right Republicans. Rep. Steve Scalise withdrew from contention due to a lack of sufficient votes.

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