5 things you need to know before the stock market opens on Friday, March 17

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, March 16, 2023.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

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

It looks like the major stock averages could be in for a winning week this week, despite the turmoil in the global banking sector. Through Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 1.06%, the S&P 500 is up 2.56% and the Nasdaq Composite is up 5.19% — the best week since November. However, Friday marks a periodic phenomenon known on Wall Street as “triple witching,” when stock index futures, stock index options and stock options expire at the same time, which can bring some last-hour madness. Follow real-time market updates.

An empty office at First Republic Bank headquarters on March 16, 2023 in San Francisco, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping waves after his speech as new members of the Politburo Standing Committee meet with the media after the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Oct. 23, 2022.

Tingshu Wang | Reuters

The FedEx logo is displayed on a FedEx vehicle on February 1, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Mario Tama | Getty Images

FedEx shares rose in after-hours trading after the company delivered a positive full-year earnings forecast and a quarterly report that showed its cost-cutting efforts are paying off. The company now said it now expects adjusted earnings for fiscal 2023 to be in the range of $14.60 to $15.20, down from a previous forecast of $13.00 to $14.00. Executives have implemented an aggressive plan to reduce costs as deliveries shrink. Cost savings have included layoffs, aircraft grounding, cutting office space and adapting delivery services. “We are making a holistic adjustment to the cost base across all dimensions and in all areas. Every dollar is under scrutiny,” Chief Financial Officer Mike Lenz said during FedEx’s earnings call.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology students play football outside the Maclaurin Building on October 10, 2003 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

William B. Plowman | Getty Images

University hopefuls have a new top dream school. Yes, it’s in Cambridge, Massachusetts. No, it’s not Harvard. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the new holy grail of acceptance letters, according to a new Princeton Review survey of college students and their families. MIT’s acceptance rate is just under 4%, making it one of the most difficult schools to get into, but that may be part of the appeal. “There’s a subconscious consensus that you should only go to college if you can go to a life-changing college,” said Hafeez Lakhani, founder and president of Lakhani Coaching in New York. Second on the list of “dream schools” was Stanford University, followed by Harvard University and New York University. Check out the rest of the top 10. (Warning to fellow Tar Heels: The University of North Carolina didn’t make the list, but it still does my dream school.)

— CNBC’s Hakyung Kim, Jesse Pound, Evelyn Cheng, Noah Sheidlower and Jessica Dickler contributed to this report.

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