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U.S. equities markets entered Wednesday in a deep funk. After big losses Monday, stocks tumbled again Tuesday: The Nasdaq lost 2%, the S&P 500 fell 1.4%, and the Dow slid more than 1%. Even with China relaxing its Covid restrictions, which should bolster that country’s economy, investors have become increasingly worried that the Federal Reserve may keep up its inflation-fighting rate hikes for longer than hoped for. The Fed’s policy makers are set to bump rates by another half a percentage point when they meet next week. Read live updates here.
Another prospect weighing on investors’ minds? The potential for a recession next year, particularly as the Fed works to cool the economy. Several of America’s top CEOs appeared on CNBC Tuesday to weigh in on the possibility of a slowdown. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said a number of factors, including geopolitical crises and sustained rate hikes, “may well derail the economy and cause this mild to hard recession that people are worried about.” Walmart CEO Doug McMillion, meanwhile, said a recession might be necessary to take down inflation. And while GM CEO Mary Barra said she wouldn’t call whether there would be a recession, she said the automaker plans to be “fairly conservative” in 2023.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – DECEMBER 06: Georgia Democratic Senate candidate U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) speaks during an election night watch party at the Marriott Marquis on December 6, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. Sen. Warnock has tonight defeated his Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a runoff election. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win Mcnamee | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Sen. Raphael Warnock made history Tuesday night by becoming the first full-term Black U.S. senator elected by Georgia. His victory in a runoff against Republican candidate and former football star Herschel Walker – who had the backing of former President Donald Trump – also gave Democrats a 51-49 edge in the Senate, giving them more leverage and putting an exclamation point on a much-better-than-expected midterm election cycle for the party. While Democrats lost the House, narrowly, they actually gained a seat in the Senate. Usually, an incumbent president’s party suffers big losses during the midterms. Now, while President Joe Biden likely won’t be able to advance his legislative agenda for the next two years, he will now likely have an easier time confirming judges and any Cabinet appointments he may have to make.
UAW Local 5960 member Kimberly Fuhr inspects a Chevrolet Bolt EV during vehicle production on Thursday, May 6, 2021, at the General Motors Orion Assembly Plant in Orion Township, Michigan.
Steve Fecht for Chevrolet
It’s a first for the United Auto Workers. On Wednesday and Thursday, the union will hold a vote to organize about 900 workers at an electric vehicle battery plant in Ohio, a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution. The employees are expected to vote in favor of organization, which could help the UAW set a precedent for labor as the auto industry shifts toward producing EVs and away from gasoline-powered cars. “If they can show that the workers there trust the union, then other battery plants may have more pressure to follow suit,” Art Wheaton, a labor professor at Cornell University, told CNBC. The GM-LG Energy Solution joint venture, Ultium, plans to build at least four more battery plants, while rivals Ford and Stellantis have battery-plant plans of their own.
A Ukrainian serviceman is seen in the trenches in the frontline of Bakhmut in Donetsk, Ukraine on December 04, 2022.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Ukrainian and Russian forces are locked in bitter trench warfare in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. The Russians are looking to capture the small city of Bakhmut in the country’s southeast, after months of progress on the battlefield by Ukraine’s military. Meanwhile, Ukraine has yet to officially claim credit for drone strikes on bases well within Russia’s borders. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, likewise, said the Biden administration has neither encouraged nor enabled Ukraine to strike inside of Russia. Read live war updates here.
– CNBC’s Tanaya Macheel, Rebecca Picciotto, Kevin Breuninger, Michael Wayland and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.
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(With inputs from CNBC)