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5 things to know before the stock market opens Monday, December 19

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A trader works on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 14, 2022. 

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

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

1. Holiday blues

2. SBF expected to waive extradition

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (2nd L) is led away handcuffed by officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force in Nassau, Bahamas on December 13, 2022. 

Mario Duncanson | AFP | Getty Images

It looks like disgraced crypto kingpin Sam Bankman-Fried is coming home, after all. The founder of bankrupt exchange FTX is expected to give up his extradition fight Monday in the Bahamas so he can face federal prosecution and other cases in the United States. Bankman-Fried was set to stay in a Bahamian jail until his next hearing in February. Federal prosecutors have charged him with wire fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and money laundering, meaning he could end up spending decades in prison if he’s convicted.

3. Musk loses his own Twitter poll

If he sticks to his word, Elon Musk’s time as CEO of Twitter could be up soon. “Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll,” the billionaire tweeted Sunday. The poll expired Monday morning and it showed, by a sizable margin, that Twitter users wanted him to resign. The company has been in turmoil since Musk bought it for $44 billion and took it private in October. The bigger concern for Musk, however, is the negative attention he’s brought on himself and the impact it’s had on his most important company, Tesla, whose share price has suffered this year.

4. Mystery at sea

Avatar: The Way of Water

Courtesy Disney Co.

Will “Avatar: The Way of Water” unleash a flood of revenue for Disney? Or will it wash out? Even after the James Cameron sequel’s first weekend at the box office, it’s hard to tell. The three-hour fantasy sci fi epic pulled in $134 million domestically over its first frame, which is a big haul but still shy of expectations. However, audiences gave it high grades and tended to see it in more exclusive, expensive formats. Indeed, Disney and Cameron have made it clear that this movie is best seen in 3D on the biggest screen possible. The Christmas-New Year’s week will go a long way in deciding just how big “The Way of Water” will be. After all, the first “Avatar” (the highest-grossing movie ever) and this year’s “Top Gun: Maverick” (the biggest movie of 2022) proved a movie doesn’t need to have the biggest opening weekend to be a box office monster.

Read more: 12 media execs anonymously predict the big stories of 2023

5. The drone nightmare continues

A woman cries in front of the building which was destroyed by a Russian attack in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022.

Evgeniy Maloletka | AP

And one more thing …

Argentina’s captain and forward #10 Lionel Messi (C) lifts the FIFA World Cup Trophy on stage as he celebrates with teammates after they won the Qatar 2022 World Cup final football match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on December 18, 2022. 

Kirill Kudryavtsev | Afp | Getty Images

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