5 Things to Know Before The Stock Market Opens

Costco shares rose as sales of Thanksgiving pies and gold bars helped boost its earnings, and General Motors will lay off 1,300 workers as it ends production of the Chevy Bolt. Here’s what investors need to know today.

1. Costco Shares Rise as Sales of Gold Bars, Thanksgiving Pies Help Deliver Earnings Beat

Shares of Costco Wholesale (COST) jumped 1.5% in pre-market trading after the retailer reported a 6.1% year-over-year rise in net sales, boosted by food and other items at its stores. Pies and gold bars were among its popular items, with the company selling 4 million pies over the Thanksgiving weekend alone. Costco reported quarterly earnings of $3.58 a share, better than analyst estimates of $3.41 a share, and announced a special cash dividend of $15 a share.

2. General Motors to Lay Off 1,300 Workers as Bolt Production Wraps

General Motors (GM) plans to lay off about 1,300 workers as it ends production of the Chevrolet Bolt, with final production scheduled for the week of Dec. 18 and layoffs coming early next year. The Orion Assembly plant where many were employed will be retooled to build electric trucks and come back online in 2025. GM also announced layoffs at its Cruise robotaxi unit. Shares of GM traded nearly 1% higher in the pre-market.

3. Solar Stocks Extend Gains After Fed Signals Rate Cuts, Analysts Issue ‘Buy’ Ratings

Solar energy providers Enphase Energy (ENPH), SunRun (RUN) and FirstSolar (FSLR) all traded higher by about 3% in the pre-market, extending yesterday’s gains amid optimism about potential rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and as analysts at Jefferies gave them “Buy” ratings on their exposure to utility-scale projects. Jefferies rated SunPower (SPWR) and Array Technologies (ARRY) as “Hold” and those stocks were up about 4% in the pre-market.

4. Investors Prepare for Volume, Volatility on Triple Witching Friday

Friday marks a quarterly “Triple Witching” day on the market with the simultaneous expiration of stock options, stock index futures, and stock index options contracts, where trading volume on stocks can soar, along with price volatility. The effect is typically most widely seen during “Triple Witching Hour,” the final hour of the trading day.

5. Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization Expected to Increase

The industrial production index is expected to show output coming in 0.3% higher in November when that data is released at 9:15 a.m. ET, compared with a decline of 0.6% in the prior month. Capacity utilization for November is expected to increase to 79.1% ahead of the prior month’s 78.9%, while the Empire State Manufacturing Survey is expected to show its index of general business conditions falling to a reading of 4 in December, down from 9.1 in November when it is released at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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