5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday

5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday
  • The Nasdaq Composite crossed 17,000 for the first time.
  • T-Mobile is planning to acquire most of U.S. Cellular.
  • American Airlines lowered its second quarter outlook.

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

The Nasdaq Composite closed up 0.59% for Tuesday’s trading session, crossing the threshold of 17,000 for the first time. The index’s surge was bolstered by the more than 6% leap in Nvidia, which also hit a new record Tuesday. The S&P 500 likewise closed higher, by just 0.02%. By contrast, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.55% and was bogged down by the slide in Merck and other health names. Follow live market updates.

T-Mobile logo is seen in Miami, United States on May 2, 2024. 

Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images

U.S. Cellular is reconnecting. T-Mobile announced on Tuesday that it’s planning to acquire most of U.S. Cellular – including the wireless operator’s stores, some of its spectrum assets and its customers – in a deal valued at around $4.4 billion. T-Mobile is set to acquire about 30% of U.S. Cellular’s wireless spectrum, with U.S. Cellular planning to lease space to T-Mobile on at least 2,100 additional towers. The deal also includes up to $2 billion of debt. The announcement comes after T-Mobile acquired Ka’ena — the parent company of Mint Mobile — for $1.35 billion. Back in 2020, T-Mobile completed a $26 billion merger with Sprint.

Ryan Salame, the former co-chief executive of FTX Digital Markets, exits the Federal Court after he pleaded guilty on two charges including conspiring to make unlawful U.S. political contributions, in New York City,  September 7, 2023.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Another FTX member is going to prison. Ryan Salame — a former top lieutenant of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried — has been sentenced to 90 months, or seven and a half years, which will then be followed by three years of supervised release. This is a heavier penalty than the five to seven years that prosecutors had suggested and the 18 months that the defense had requested. Salame must also pay more than $6 million in forfeiture and more than $5 million in restitution. He pleaded guilty last year to defrauding the Federal Election Commission, conspiring to make unlawful political contributions and conspiring to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

A Boeing 737 passenger aircraft of American Airlines arrives from Austin, Texas, at JFK International Airport in New York as the Manhattan skyline looms in the background on Feb. 7, 2024.

Charly Triballeau | Afp | Getty Images

American Airlines lowered its second quarter outlook. The airline said it expects unit revenues to fall as much as 6% from the year-ago period. It also trimmed the period’s adjusted earnings estimate to a projected range of $1 to $1.15 a share — down from a prior range of $1.15 to $1.45 per share. This cut comes as the airline has already been trailing behind competitors Delta and United Airlines in recent months in terms of financial performance. The company is also letting go of its chief commercial officer. Vasu Raja, who has spent more than two years in the role, had been on leave recently, and an airline spokeswoman had previously said he wasn’t leaving the company. But a person familiar with the matter said that all changed in the past few days, and now Raja is expected to leave his position next month.

Traders walk the floor during morning trading at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on May 14, 2024 in New York City. 

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Things are still looking up for GameStop. Shares of the video game retailer soared during Tuesday’s trading session after the company announced it made nearly $1 billion from selling 45 million common shares. The meme stock closed up more than 25% and is up more than 100% month-to-date. While the company didn’t disclose the price the shares were sold at, they said the transaction was an “at-the-market” offering. The sale comes after “Roaring Kitty” — the person behind the stock’s 2021 short squeeze — posted online earlier this month for the first time in about three years, sending shares dramatically higher.

CNBC’s Alex Harring, Pia Singh, Sophie Kiderlin, Todd Haselton, Sean Conlon, MacKenzie Sigalos and Leslie Josephs contributed to this report.

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