5 Things to Know Before the Stock Market Opens Monday, Jan. 30

Source: NYSE
  • January's stock rally faces big tests this week.
  • Apple, Amazon and McDonald's will report earnings in the next few days.
  • Renault and Nissan restructure their long-held partnership.

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

1. Rally faces tests this week

The January rally has hung in there, weathering a mixed bag of earnings reports and forecast cuts, as well as some soft economic data. This week it will run into some big tests, given the earnings schedule dominated by Big Tech names (more on that below) and the Federal Reserve's next moves. The Fed's policy-setting committee meets Tuesday and Wednesday. Market watches expect the Fed to raise its benchmark rate by a quarter of a point, which would be smaller than the past few increases, so most of the focus will be on what Chairman Jerome Powell says about the Fed's outlook following the announcement Wednesday. Read live markets updates here.

2. Apple and Amazon lead earnings slate

Tech stocks on display at the Nasdaq. 
Peter Kramer | CNBC
Tech stocks on display at the Nasdaq. 

Some huge tech names are due to report earnings this week, but there are some big companies from other segments set to announce, as well. So far this earnings season has been mediocre at best, with several companies topping low expectations, while others have pre-announced to set expectations even lower. Here's a look at the earnings week ahead:

3. Renault aims to cut Nissan stake

Renault and Nissan automobile logos are pictured during the Brussels Motor Show on January 9, 2020 in Brussels. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)
Kenzo Tribouillard | Afp | Getty Images
Renault and Nissan automobile logos are pictured during the Brussels Motor Show on January 9, 2020 in Brussels. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Two automotive titans are attempting to shake things up as the industry moves more aggressively into electric vehicles. France's Renault and Japan's Nissan said Monday they will restructure their agreement, which they struck in 1999. Under the deal, which requires approvals from their respective boards of directors, Renault would cut its holdings in Nissan to 15% from 43%, distributing a large chunk to a French trust that would have "neutralized" voting rights. Nissan also agreed to invest in Ampere, which is Renault's electric vehicle business. The two will also work on "high-value-creation operational projects" in Latin America, India and Europe, they said.

4. Walmart presses its advantages

At Walmart's flagship stores, like the one in Teterboro, NJ, Walmart plays up a lot of its exclusive brands like activewear brand, Love & Sports, and Beautiful, a kitchen and home decor line developed with Drew Barrymore.
Melissa Repko | CNBC
At Walmart's flagship stores, like the one in Teterboro, NJ, Walmart plays up a lot of its exclusive brands like activewear brand, Love & Sports, and Beautiful, a kitchen and home decor line developed with Drew Barrymore.

Walmart has weathered recent ups and downs in the retail space better than many of its smaller competitors, especially Target. Why? Because of its grocery business — the biggest in the country — and its scale. Even as supply chain problems and staffing imbalances cut into margins, Walmart still could rely on the strength of its low-cost grocery offerings to lure in even higher-income shoppers looking for value. The overall health and size of its business allows it to mix things up and try new things. Its sleek new store format, which reminds some of Target, fits the bill, especially as Walmart tries to hold on to those more affluent customers shopping the grocery aisles. The remodel is rolling out slowly, but it's already turning some heads in big population centers.

5. The latest from Ukraine

Ukrainian servicemen launch a drone not far from the Ukrainian town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region on Jan. 25, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Anatolii Stepanov | Afp | Getty Images
Ukrainian servicemen launch a drone not far from the Ukrainian town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region on Jan. 25, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pressed Western nations for quicker arms supplies as his country continues to face onslaughts from Russian missiles and fierce fighting on the battlefield. The U.S. and Germany have pledged to send dozens of tanks to Ukraine, leading to speculation that fighter jets would be next. However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his nation opposed sending the aircraft to Ukraine. "The question of combat aircraft does not arise at all," Scholz said to a German newspaper, according to a translation. Read live war updates here.

CNBC's Jesse Pound, Elliot Smith, Melissa Repko and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.

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