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5 things to know before the stock market opens Monday, Jan. 31

Here are the key news, trends and analyzes that investors need to start their trading day:

1. Wall Street looks lower on the last day of sad January trading

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, USA, January 26, 2022.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

US stock futures were mostly lower on Monday, heading into the last trading day in January. Despite Friday’s rise of 2.4%, amid weeks of unrest, the S&P 500 is heading for its worst month since March 2020, when the Covid pandemic was declared. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 564 points, or 1.7 percent, and the Nasdaq rose 3.1 percent. But just like the S&P 500, the Dow is tracking its worst month since October 2020, and the Nasdaq is running its worst month all the way back to October 2008 in the financial crisis that led to the Great Recession. Friday’s rally drew all three stock benchmarks into positive territory for last week. Nasdaq, however, remained in a deep correction.

2. Big Tech, automakers are leading large companies reporting earnings this week

The flow of large companies reporting earnings is taking a break on Monday before seriously continuing for the rest of the week. Wall Street has so far been overwhelmed by some of what it has seen from technology, and has sent shares in Tesla, Intel and Netflix significantly lower after each of these reports. Last week, however, Apple and Microsoft fared better, which could bode well for the remaining mega caps. After Chevron missed earnings on Friday, Tuesday brings Exxon Mobil as well as Google’s parent company Alphabet and General Motors. Facebook parent Meta Platforms is out Wednesday, with Amazon, Merck and Ford a day later.

The White House says omicron proliferation could affect Friday’s job report

The government will next Friday publish its latest employment report. While economists polled by the Dow Jones expect 178,000 non-farm payrolls were added last month, there are questions about how the spread of the Covid omicron variant could affect the numbers. Brian Deese, President Joe Biden’s top economic adviser, told CNBC on Friday that increases in the case of Covid in early January could skew employment data. The White House does not have access to sensitive financial figures. But Deese, director of the National Economic Council, and his staff are likely to do their own analysis.

Spotify to add content advice when podcasts mention Covid

Audio streaming giant Spotify said on Sunday it would add content advice to all the material Covid mentions and direct its users to public health sites for more information. Spotify is facing a falling stock price due to setbacks over its decision to continue broadcasting the popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience”, despite concerns that it is spreading misinformation about coronavirus. On Sunday, Rogan posted a video on Instagram saying he agrees with the content advice before podcasts containing Covid comments. He also said he would be open to following guests with controversial opinions about Covid with other experts who have different views. Neil Young began the boycott of Spotify last week.

5. Biden must meet Qatar’s leader while Europe’s energy crisis threatens

U.S. President Joe Biden makes remarks with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer as they announce that Breyer will retire at the end of the court’s current term in office, at the White House in Washington, on January 27, 2022.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

With oil prices trading around seven-year highs amid political tensions in Eastern Europe, Biden is set to meet in the White House on Monday with the ruling leader of the oil-rich nation of Qatar. Biden hopes Qatar, which helped with last summer’s U.S. military evacuations in Afghanistan, will once again help the West as it faces the prospect of a European energy crisis if Russia invades Ukraine. The White House said Biden and Qatar’s leaders would also use Monday’s meeting to discuss the Middle East, the situation in Afghanistan and the United States’ efforts to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all the market action like a professional CNBC Pro. Get the latest news about the pandemic CNBC’s coverage of coronavirus.

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