5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday, February 15


Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on February 14, 2023 in New York City. 

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

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

1. Got to get over the hump

2. Tesla opens its charging network

Tesla Super Charger

Courtesy: Tesla

In a rare moment of accord between the Biden administration and Elon Musk’s electric vehicle empire, Tesla agreed to open up thousands of its charging stations to EVs made by other companies, according to the White House. Tesla and other companies that build and operate charging networks are also in line to win federal funding if their charging infrastructure lives up to government standards. Tesla agreed to make at least 7,500 chargers in the U.S. available for any compatible EV by the end of next year. That includes 3,500 of the company’s Superchargers that are located on major highways in addition to slower Level 2 destination chargers that Tesla provides at restaurants and hotels, among other locations.

3. Ford’s battery bust

Ford workers produce the electric F-150 Lightning pickup on Dec. 13, 2022 at the automaker’s Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center (REVC).

Michael Wayland | CNBC

It’s not all good news in the world of EV batteries, though. Ford halted production and shipments of its flagship F-150 Lightning pickup over a possible issue with its batteries. The company did not disclose too many details about the potential problem, which came to light during pre-delivery quality inspections. It’s the latest difficulty facing Ford. Earlier this month, the company posted ugly fourth-quarter results and a net loss for 2022, as it copped to execution problems. Ford is looking to cut costs this year as it seeks a turnaround with EV competition heating up.

4. Goldman continues consumer retreat

David Solomon, Chairman & CEO of Goldman Sachs, speaking on Squawk Box at the WEF in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 23rd, 2023. 

Adam Galica | CNBC

Goldman Sachs is giving up on plans for a branded credit card, CNBC’s Hugh Son reported Tuesday, as the Wall Street powerhouse continues to dismantle its consumer-banking strategy. Goldman CEO David Solomon has been moving away from his previous intention to turn the company into a bank for the people since losses started to pile up and consumers started facing inflation and other economic headwinds. Goldman in October split its retail operations. Later, the company said it would close its Marcus personal loans business and give up on offering a checking account to a broad customer base. With all of this happening, it just didn’t make sense to launch a consumer credit card anymore.

5. That tricky housing market

A ‘For Sale’ sign is posted in front of a single family home on October 27, 2022 in Hollywood, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

If you want a fresh example of just how sensitive the economy is to shifts in interest rates, look no further than Wednesday’s mortgage demand report. Total mortgage application volume fell 7.7% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, as the popular 30-year fixed rate rose to 6.39% from 6.18%. Refinance applications fell 13% week over week, while applications to purchase a home were down 6%. “Mortgage rates increased across the board last week, pushed higher by market expectations that inflation will persist, thus requiring the Federal Reserve to keep monetary policy restrictive for a longer time,” said Joel Kan, a top economist for the MBA.

– CNBC’s Hakyung Kim, Lora Kolodny, John Rosevear, Michael Wayland, Hugh Son and Diana Olick contributed to this report.

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