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5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday, March 22


Fed needs to stress test banks' interest rate risks: Former Fed Gov. Frederic Mishkin

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

1. Raise or pause?

2. On a roll

Markets in an 'uneasy calm' after recent banking sector turmoil, analyst says

3. ‘Things will go wrong’

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at a panel at the CEO Summit of the Americas hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on June 09, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. The CEO Summit entered its second day of events with a formal signing for the “International Coalition to Connect Marine Protected Areas” and a speech from U.S. President Joe Biden. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Google has opened up testing for Bard, its competitor to Microsoft-supported artificially intelligent chatbot ChatGPT, to users in the U.S. and U.K. What can we expect? Sundar Pichai, the CEO of parent company Alphabet, sees exciting things ahead, even if that means some errors, according to an internal company memo seen by CNBC’s Jennifer Elias. “As more people start to use Bard and test its capabilities, they’ll surprise us. Things will go wrong,” Pichai wrote. “But the user feedback is critical to improving the product and the underlying technology.” Before this round of testing, 80,000 of Google’s employees contributed to testing Bard within the company. Now, we’ll just sit back and hope that AI will be merely a trusted tool – and not something that will end up killing us all.

4. Nike’s slow boat to recovery in China

People walk past a store of the sporting goods retailer Nike Inc. at a shopping complex in Beijing, China March 25, 2021.

Florence Lo | Reuters

Once again, Nike’s quarterly results beat Wall Street’s expectations. Big beat on the top line, bigger beat on the bottom. The athletic apparel and shoe maker also cut down on its hefty inventory levels. But Nike missed estimates with in China, the company’s third-biggest region. China sales fell 8% to $1.99 billion during the quarter, while the Street was expecting $2.09 billion, while sales in other markets grew by double digits. Still, CEO John Donahoe sees momentum in China. Nike, he said, saw growth “really pick up” in the second month of the quarter after the government ended its so-called zero Covid policy.

5. Indictment watch

Former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on education as he holds a campaign rally with supporters, in Davenport, Iowa, U.S. March 13, 2023. 

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Donald Trump, the former reality TV star and casino tycoon who served as the 45th president of the United States and is running for the office again, could soon be charged with crimes related to a hush-money payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels over an alleged sexual tryst 17 years ago. Media reports have said an indictment from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office could come as early as this week. It would mark the first time a former president has been criminally charged, and it would supercharge the 2024 campaign for the White House. With the shadow of the Jan. 6, 2021, pro-Trump Capitol insurrection looming over everything, authorities are preparing for potential unrest as the former president has called on his followers to protest if he’s charged. Trump, for his part, is “sad” about the potential indictment, one of his lawyers said.

– CNBC’s Patti Domm, Tanaya Macheel, Jennifer Elias, Gabrielle Fonrouge and Dan Mangan contributed to this report.

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