5 things to know before the stock market opens on Monday

  • The S&P, Dow and Nasdaq are on a five-week winning streak and are coming off an excellent November.
  • Alaska Air agreed to buy Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 billion.
  • Spotify is laying off 17% of its workforce.

Here are the key news investors need to start the trading day:

Wall Street is hoping stocks can continue a steady climb this week after a stellar November. The S&P 500 is on a five-week winning streak and hit its highest level since March 2022 on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite have also risen for five straight weeks. November labor market data due on Friday will play an important role in determining whether this increase continues. The figure will help determine whether the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates steady at its policy meeting next week – or consider cutting them next year. Follow live market updates here.

Alaska Air has agreed to buy Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 billion. Alaska CEO Ben Minicucci told analysts he hopes the deal will help Alaska compete with the four airlines for Hawaiian, which has struggled in part because of the Maui wildfires and less travel to and from Asia dominate the US market. But the consolidation also poses risks for the deal. The Biden administration’s Justice Department prevailed in its attempt to block a regional partnership between JetBlue and American Airlines earlier this year and also sued to stop JetBlue’s acquisition of Spirit Airlines.

Music streaming service Spotify will lay off 17% of its workforce, or around 1,500 employees. The company is taking “significant actions to adjust our costs” after a period of expansion in which capital was more easily accessible, CEO Daniel Ek told employees in an email. The job cuts follow hundreds of other layoffs at Spotify earlier this year. The company has recently taken steps to expand its podcast and audiobook business.

Gold prices hit a record high on Monday before falling slightly. Spot gold rose above $2,100 an ounce as the price of the metal continues to rise steadily. Geopolitical risks can increase the value of the metal, and the conflict between Israel and Hamas has partly fueled the recent rise. Looking ahead to next year, potential Fed rate cuts – and a potentially lower US dollar – could boost gold prices even further.

Retailers had a successful Thanksgiving shopping weekend. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll have a spectacular holiday season. The five-day shopping rush, which exceeded industry expectations with an 8% increase in online spending and record traffic, may not be a harbinger of a December blockbuster. The strength could be due to cost-conscious shoppers looking for early deals and searching for those discounts online. A prolonged cold spell may also have caused consumers to purchase winter clothing that they would not have purchased in a warmer fall.

—CNBC’s Yun Li, Leslie Josephs, Rebecca Picciotto, Ryan Browne, Lee Ying Shan and Melissa Repko contributed to this report.

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