5 issues to know earlier than the inventory market opens Monday

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

1. Inching higher

Wall Street hopes stocks can sustain a steady climb this week after a stellar November. The S&P 500 has notched a five-week winning streak, hitting its highest level since March 2022 on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite have also climbed for five straight weeks. November jobs data due Friday will play a major role in whether those runs continue. The number will help to 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.

2. A deal in the skies

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

3. Sour sounds at Spotify

Music streaming service Spotify will lay off 17% of its workforce, or about 1,500 employees. The company is taking “substantial action to rightsize our costs,” after a period of expansion while capital was easier to access, CEO Daniel Ek told employees in an email. The job cuts follow hundreds more layoffs at Spotify earlier this year. The company has recently moved to grow build its podcast and audiobooks businesses.

4. As good as gold

Gold prices touched a record high Monday before giving up some ground. Spot gold rose above $2,100 an ounce as the metal’s price continues a steady climb. Geopolitical risks can increase the metal’s value, and the conflict between Israel and Hamas has in part fueled the recent rise. Looking ahead to next year, potential Fed interest rate cuts — and a lower U.S. dollar that may come with them — could boost gold even more.

5. Hold the cheer

Retailers enjoyed a strong Thanksgiving shopping weekend. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll have a spectacular holiday season. The five-day shopping rush that topped the industry’s expectations, with 8% online spending growth and record traffic, may not portend a blockbuster December ahead. The strength may reflect that cost-conscious shoppers were hunting for early deals and seeking those discounts online. A stretch of cold weather may have also caused consumers to buy winter clothing they did not purchase during 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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