Here are key things you need to know if you're eyeing a Medigap policy alongside basic Medicare

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If you’re signing up for Medicare, you’ve likely discovered that there are a lot of out-of-pocket costs that come with your coverage.

For about 23% of Medicare’s 65.1 million beneficiaries, the solution for covering those outlays is a so-called Medigap plan.

These policies, sold by private insurance companies, generally pick up part or most of the cost-sharing — i.e., deductibles, copays and coinsurance — that comes with basic Medicare (Part A hospital coverage and Part B outpatient care).

However, they do have limitations, and monthly premiums can be pricey.

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Nevertheless, some beneficiaries determine that pairing basic Medicare with a Medigap policy is a better fit than choosing to get their Parts A and B benefits delivered through an Advantage Plan (or having no supplemental insurance at all). Those plans, which can restrict coverage to in-network providers, also usually include Part D prescription drug coverage, often come with no premium and may offer extras such as dental and vision. 

The reasons that some beneficiaries instead choose Medigap alongside basic Medicare vary from person to person, according to Elizabeth Gavino, founder of Lewin & Gavino and an independent broker and general agent for Medicare plans.

For example, she said, they may want more freedom in choosing doctors and other providers or need coverage while away from home  — i.e., they travel a lot, sometimes for extended stays. (Advantage Plans may disenroll you if you remain outside their service area for a certain time — typically six months.)

Biogen Alzheimer's drug could get Medicare coverage in 2025 if approved, says Dr. Scott Gottlieb

Here’s what to know about Medigap policies if you’re considering purchasing one.

Medigap policies are standardized

Many states let doctors have a 15% ‘excess charge’

Also be aware that in many states, some doctors or other providers may charge you the difference between the Medicare-approved amount under Part B and their full fee, with a 15% cap on that “excess charge.” 

“If your state is one that allows up to the 15% excess charge, consider [a plan] that covers it,” Gavino said. 

Also, be aware that Medigap plans don’t cover costs associated with prescription drug coverage — unless, perhaps, the policy was issued prior to 2006. This means you’d need to purchase a standalone Part D plan if you want that coverage.

Medigap also doesn’t cover services that are excluded from Medicare’s coverage, generally speaking, such as dental or vision.

There are rules that go with Medigap signup

When you first enroll in Part B, you generally get six months to purchase a Medigap policy without an insurance company checking on your health history and deciding whether to insure you.

After that, depending on the specifics of your situation and the state you live in, you may have to go through medical underwriting.

There’s huge variation in cost

Despite Medigap policies’ standardization, the premiums can vary greatly.

For example, in New York, the lowest monthly premium for Plan G is $278 and the highest is $476, according to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance. In Iowa, the least expensive Part G policy is $79 and the most expensive is $192.

There are several reasons for the wide variance in pricing, said Danielle Roberts, co-founder of insurance firm Boomer Benefits. That includes the cost of health care in your area, the open enrollment rules for your state and the actual loss ratio experienced by the insurance company across all policyholders with that same plan, she said.

“For example, Medigap plans cost more in New York because they have year-round open enrollment,” Roberts said.

If the carrier can’t underwrite for health, then they must raise the rates for everyone.

Danielle Roberts

Co-founder of Boomer Benefits

“This means that residents there can literally wait until they get sick to buy a policy,” she said. “If the carrier can’t underwrite for health, then they must raise the rates for everyone.”

Additionally, insurance companies routinely roll out new plans, Roberts said. So if an insurer begins offering a plan and taking on new policyholders for it, over time the premiums rise a little each year due to inflation and claims, making that plan less competitive when another insurer opens a new plan that hasn’t incurred any losses yet, she said.

“Healthy people who can pass underwriting begin to switch plans to the cheaper company and then the first company is left with a lot of people who can’t pass underwriting to switch,” Roberts said. “That is an aging block of business with many policyholders who have costly health conditions, which further drives up the rates.”

The way a Medigap plan is ‘rated’ also matters

Another difference in Medigap premiums can come from how the plans are “rated.” If you know this, it may help you anticipate what may or may not happen to your premium down the road.

Some plans are “community-rated,” which means everyone who buys a particular one pays the same rate regardless of their age. 

Others are based on “attained age,” which means the rate you get at purchase is based on your age and will increase as you get older. Still others use “issue age”: The rate won’t change as you age, but it’s based on your age at the time you purchase the policy (so younger people may pay less).

These are some other things to consider

Svetikd | E+ | Getty Images

If you work with an agent, ask how many insurance companies they work with (or are “appointed with”), according to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance. They may not recommend a particular insurer’s policies if they don’t get a commission to do so.

There also may be a household discount offered.

“One trend we see is that carriers are becoming more lenient with this and not requiring the spouse to be on the policy to qualify,” Roberts said. “Many will give you a discount just for having another person living at the same residence.”

Also, be aware that some insurance companies give large discounts to new enrollees, but the reduction in price may go away in a year or two.

“You’ll want to know that up front,” Roberts said.


Markets rally on signs inflation is abating, as investors look to next week's consumer price data

Tourists are lined up for taking photos by the Charging Bull Statue in the financial district of New York City, United States on August 16, 2021.

Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Markets closed out the first week of 2023 on a high note, with the S&P 500 closing up more than 2%, as stocks rallied on fresh signs inflation may be easing.


FDA approves Alzheimer's drug that slowed cognitive decline in clinical trial

MRI image of brain showing area of Alzheimer patient.

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The Food and Drug Administration on Friday granted accelerated approval for the Alzheimer’s drug lecanemab, the second treatment from Biogen and its Japanese partner Eisai to receive an early green light in less than two years.

The FDA’s approval comes after clinical trial results published in November indicated that lecanemab slows cognitive decline somewhat in people with mild impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease, but the treatment also carries risks of brain swelling and bleeding.

Eisai, which led the development of lecanemab, is pricing the treatment at $26,500 per year in the U.S. It will be sold under the name Leqembi.

FDA approves Biogen's Alzheimer's drug

The FDA can accelerate approval of a drug to quickly bring it to market if it’s expected to help patients suffering from serious conditions more than what is currently available. Biogen and Eisai applied for accelerated approval in July.

“Alzheimer’s disease immeasurably incapacitates the lives of those who suffer from it and has devastating effects on their loved ones,” said Dr. Billy Dunn, director of the FDA’s neuroscience division, in a statement. “This treatment option is the latest therapy to target and affect the underlying disease process of Alzheimer’s, instead of only treating the symptoms of the disease.”

More than 6.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from Alzheimer’s. The irreversible disease destroys memory, thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out simple tasks.

The decision on lecanameb comes after Congress issued a scathing report last week about how the FDA handled the controversial approval of another Alzheimer’s drug developed by Biogen and Eisai, called Aduhelm. The 2021 approval of that treatment, which experts said did not show a clear clinical benefit, was “rife with irregularities,” according to the report.

The congressional report said the “FDA must take swift action to ensure that its processes for reviewing future Alzheimer’s disease treatments do not lead to the same doubts about the integrity of FDA’s review.”

Modestly slows disease

Lecanemab is a monoclonal antibody that targets a protein called amyloid which builds up on the brain in people with Alzheimer’s. The antibody is administered intravenously every two weeks in doses determined by a patient’s body weight with 10 milligrams given per kilogram.

The FDA approved lecanemab based on the reduction of amyloid plaque observed in clinical trial participants who received the treatment, according to a statement from the agency. Participants who did not receive the treatment, the placebo arm, had no reduction in amyloid plaque.

The clinical trial results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that cognitive decline was 27% slower over 18 months in people who received lecanemab compared with those who did not receive the treatment. The study was funded by Biogen and Eisai.

Cognitive decline was measured using a system called the clinical dementia rating, which is an 18-point scale with a higher score indicating a greater level of impairment. It measures cognitive functions such as memory, judgement and problem solving.

Alzheimer’s disease progressed 1.21 points on average in the group that received lecanemab compared with 1.66 points in the group that did not receive the treatment, a modest difference of 0.45 points.

Nearly 1,800 people ages 50 to 90 years old with early Alzheimer’s participated in the trial, about half of whom received lecanemab and half of whom did not.

Safety concerns

Though lecanemab may slow cognitive decline somewhat, the treatment also carries risks.

Nearly 13% of those who received lecanemab developed brain swelling compared with about 2% in the group that didn’t receive the treatment. However, most of these cases were mild to moderate in severity, did not cause symptoms, and typically resolved within four months.

About 3% of patients who received lecanemab had more serious brain swelling with symptoms that included headache, visual disturbance and confusion.

About 17% of those who received lecanemab had brain bleeding, compared with 9% in the group that did not take the treatment. The most common symptoms associated with the bleeding was dizziness.

Overall, 14% of people who received lecanemab suffered serious adverse events in the clinical trial, compared with 11% of those who did not receive the treatment.

The authors of the study said longer clinical trials were needed to determine the efficacy and safety of lecanemab in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease.

The FDA said the prescribing information for lecanemab will include a warning about a risk of swelling and bleeding, broadly referred to as amyloid-related imaging abnormalities.

The death of a clinical trial participant in the Chicago area could also possibly be linked to lecanemab, according to a research letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week.

The 65-year-old suffered a stroke and was hospitalized four days after their third lecanemab infusion. A CT scan performed after the patient’s stroke found extensive bleeding in the brain. An MRI performed 81 days before the stroke had not found any bleeding.

The patient had also received a medication, called t-PA, used to break apart blood clots that cause strokes. But extensive brain bleeding would be an unusual complication of this medication alone, according to the physicians who penned the research letter.

Researchers involved in the lecanemab clinical trial, in a response letter, argued that the blood clot medication appeared to be the immediate cause of the patient’s death, with the first symptoms occurring 8 minutes after they received an infusion of the blood-clot buster.

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U.S. House adjourns for third night without a speaker as McCarthy scrambles to find deal with far-right Republicans

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House adjourned for a third night without a speaker — the longest the chamber has gone leaderless in generations — after GOP leader Kevin McCarthy lost an 11th vote for the gavel and scrambled to work out a deal with far-right Republicans to back his bid.

The House plans to reconvene at noon ET on Friday, as McCarthy and his allies try to iron out a rough offer that would give hardline conservatives more power in the new GOP majority.

Ahead of Thursday’s final speaker vote, two members of the bloc of 20 Republican holdouts opposing McCarthy’s speakership nominated alternative candidates to McCarthy: The first pick was GOP Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, who leads the influential Republican Study Committee. The second nominee was former President Donald Trump, who was put forward by his longtime ally, Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz.

Hern has consistently voted for McCarthy for speaker, but he has not said outright that he would reject the job if McCarthy withdraws his name.

The emergence of another potential alternative to McCarthy was the latest setback in a frustrating day for the longtime GOP leader. Meanwhile, Democrats appeared to revel in the repeated GOP failures, enthusiastically shouting down a proposed voice vote to adjourn just before 8 p.m. ET on Thursday. Republicans then voted to end proceedings for the night in a recorded vote.

“We should stay here all night … all weekend until we get a speaker,” Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., told CNN.

McCarthy lost 20 Republicans on the 11th vote, with one GOP member-elect voting “present.” With 222 Republicans in the newly elected House, he could afford to lose only four of them to reach the 218 needed to win the speakership.

The speaker election is now guaranteed to go at least 12 votes. It has gone longer than a dozen ballots only four times in U.S. history.

Earlier in the day, McCarthy sounded optimistic about talks between his top lieutenants and a group of holdouts.

“I think everyone in the conversation wants to find a solution,” McCarthy said on his way into the House chamber for the day’s first vote.

But less than two hours after votes began, another influential McCarthy holdout, Rep. Scott Perry, Pa., posted an angry tweet accusing McCarthy of leaking details of internal negotiations.

The continued absence of a speaker has left the House in disarray, largely due to the fact that rank-and-file members can’t be sworn into office until a speaker is elected and cannot set up their local or Washington offices. This leaves all 434 members of the House technically still members-elect, not official voting representatives. 

Ahead of Thursday’s votes, Democratic Party leaders berated Republicans for the party’s dysfunction, and emphasized the harm that going days without a House speaker was inflicting on the legislative branch and the nation.

“We cannot organize our district offices, get our new members doing that political work of our constituent services, helping serve the people who sent us here on their behalf,” incoming Democratic Whip Katherine Clark, D-Mass., told reporters in the Capitol Thursday morning. “Kevin McCarthy’s ego in his pursuit of the speakership at all costs is drowning out the voices and the needs of the American people.”

Democrats also emphasized that the absence of a speaker was threatening U.S. national security by keeping members of Congress from accessing classified intelligence that is available to lawmakers only after they have taken the oath of office, which none of them can take without a speaker.

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“At the end of the day, all we are asking Republicans to do is to figure out a way for themselves to organize so the Congress can get together and do the business of the American people,” Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said at a news conference with Clark.

Clark accused McCarthy of being “held hostage to his own ambitions.”

“This is about your responsibility to organize government. It is fundamental to who we are as members of Congress,” she said.

Democrats, meanwhile, have remained in lockstep throughout all the votes, casting their 212 ballots for Jeffries.

Incoming Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), incoming Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA) and incoming Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (D-CA) hold a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 13, 2022. 

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters


Stock futures are little changed as investors look ahead to Friday's jobs report

Bond prices surge, yields fall as economic data signals cooling inflation

Bond prices rallied with stocks, sending yields down, after two key economic reports signaled inflation my be cooling off as the Fed raises interest rates.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury was down by 16.2 basis points at 3.56%. The 2-year Treasury yield fell 18.9 basis points to 4.264%. The yield on the 30-year Treasury was down 11.8 basis points at 3.68%.

Yields and prices move in opposite directions. One basis point equals 0.01%.

—Carmen Reinicke

Stocks making the biggest moves midday

Check out the companies making headlines in midday trading.

  • World Wrestling Entertainment — The wrestling entertainment stock surged 21% after WWE announced that founder Vince McMahon is returning to its board of directors and that the company is exploring strategic moves. McMahon stepped down as CEO last year after an investigation into sexual misconduct, but has remained majority shareholder. The Wall Street Journal reported that McMahon is returning to pursue a potential sale of the business.
  • R1 RCM — Shares of the healthcare technology firm soared more than 11% after the company raised its revenue outlook for 2023. The company also reaffirmed its projection for full-year 2022.
  • Costco Wholesale — Shares of the big-box retailer jumped more than 6% after it reported solid sales numbers for December. Costco posted net sales of $23.8 billion in December 2022, marking an increase of 7% year-over-year. Evercore ISI also added Costco to its “fab five” list, saying it’s a defensive stalwart.

Read the full list here.

— Sarah Min

First week of year signals volatility ahead for stocks, Goldman Sachs says

Investors may not want to get too excited about Friday’s rally.

“This first week of 2023 (and January) has come with the usual raft of major economic data points which on net point to the unusual post-pandemic era combination of a resilient labor market set against eroding business sentiment across the economy,” analysts at Goldman Sachs wrote in a Friday note. “Even as Corporate America continues to hire over 200,000 net new workers a month and post over 10mn job openings, both the Manufacturing and Service sector feels like things are getting worse.”

Of course, things getting worse is relative to one of the best GDP expansions the U.S. has seen, according to the note. This was partially fueled by pandemic stimulus through 2021.

“But this unusual combination we are now seeing of slow growth, high inflation, and elevated stock market valuations is likely to make for an uneven trading landscape in the year ahead,” Goldman said. That’s likely to mean modest returns for stocks this year.

—Carmen Reinicke

Tesla reverses slump, trades higher

Tesla reversed a more than 5% slump Friday following news that the electric vehicle maker would lower prices on some models of cars in China.

Later in the day, however, Tesla rose with the broader market. It was up 1.85% at midday.

Fed’s Barkin says rate hikes can be done ‘more deliberately’ now

Richmond Federal Reserve President Thomas Barkin said Friday the central bank has to keep working to bring down inflation but can do so with a little less intensity.

“We still have work to do,” the central bank official said in prepared remarks. “Inflation is too high, and we will need to stay on the case until it is sustainably back to our 2% target. We have forecasted additional rate increases this year.”

Policymakers indicated in December that they’re likely to take rates up another percentage point or so before pausing. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic earlier in the day told CNBC he expects the central bank’s benchmark funds rate rising past 5%, from its current 4.25%-4.5% target range.

Barking did not specify how high he thinks the rate should go. However, he said the Fed now can move “more deliberately” after raising rates aggressively seven times in 2022.

—Jeff Cox

Health care, hospitality lead December job gains

Health care and social services was the top category for job growth in December, followed by leisure and hospitality, as the U.S. labor market continues to show strength despite the Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate hikes.

Meanwhile, two sectors that had been struggling in recent months — retail and transportation and warehousing — snapped back to growth in December.

Bank of America downgrades Chevron as oil prices cool

As oil prices cool, Bank of America is expecting Chevron won’t outperform as much as it did in 2022.

The firm expects a modest 9% upside after gaining more than 50% in share value last year. Analyst Doug Leggate also downgraded the stock to neutral from buy, citing limited upside as oil prices stabilize following the jump prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Put simply we see CVX as a victim of its own success – but with <10% upside to our estimate of fair value, we believe the appropriate rating vs North American peers is Neutral,” Leggate said in a note to clients Friday.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more about Leggate’s call here.

— Alex Harring

Goldman’s Hatzius says jobs numbers consistent with ‘soft landing’

December’s employment report helps add to the narrative that the U.S. may be able to avoid a recession, Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius said Friday.

“We’re growing at a below-trend pace that’s necessary to rebalance the economy. Wage growth is gradually decelerating, price inflation is pretty quickly decelerating,” Hatzius said on CNBC’s “Squawk of the Street.” “I think that should be encouraging for a soft landing.”

He spoke after the Labor Department reported a 223,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls and a 4.6% annual rise in average hourly earnings, the slowest pace for the latter metric since August 2021.

—Jeff Cox

Wells Fargo upgrades Lululemon

Wells Fargo analyst Ike Boruchow upgraded shares of Lululemon to overweight, calling the athletics apparel retailer a “rare name with momentum.”

“LULU’s top-line resilience in the past few years has been nothing short of stunning, with 2022E’s topline expected to be essentially double 2019 levels,” he said, expecting continued resilience in 2023.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read the full story here.

— Samantha Subin

Stocks typically rebound massively following big yearly losses

History shows that the stock market typically rebounds drastically following a year of big losses, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Since 1936, of the nine prior years with double-digit losses, seven of those years experienced double-digit gains the following year (an average of 18%), according to the firm. The S&P 500 lost 19.4% in 2022, suffering its worst year since 2008.

Stocks rally on slower wage growth but are ignoring other message in jobs data

The December jobs report shows the economy is still adding jobs at a strong rate, but investors focused on the fact that wage growth is slowing, suggesting inflation may be ebbing.

Stocks rallied after the 8:30 a.m. ET employment report showed 223,000 jobs were created in December. Average hourly wages grew at an annual pace of 4.6%, less than the 5% expected by economists.

“The big move was the fact that average hourly earnings came in lower than expected. That suggests that investors are focused intently on inflation, and whether that inflation is moving toward the Fed’s target,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.

But he also cautioned that the data could be double-edged, since it suggests the economy and employment are still strong. That could help keep inflation elevated and keep the Fed hiking more than markets might expect.

The Fed next meets Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. While some economists anticipate a half point hike after that meeting, traders in the futures market put greater odds on a smaller, 25 basis point hike. A basis point equals 0.01 of a percentage point.

“Data like today suggests the Fed could do 50 basis points,” said Arone. A more aggressive Fed could create more market volatility.

The Fed has been trying to slow the economy and the hot labor market through its rate hiking, which has taken the fed funds target rate range to 4.25% to 4.50%.

 Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Financial Group said market expectations did not change after the jobs report, and the fed funds futures contract for February was pricing in another 32 basis points of hikes.

“It’s pricing 100% chance of a 25 basis point hike, and a 30% chance for an additional 25. Peak fed funds is still at 5%” for July, he said. “The market is still expecting the Fed to go another 60, almost 70 basis points,” he said. Boockvar said the end point for the Fed matters more than if it raises by 25 basis points or 50 when it next meets.

–Patti Domm

KeyBanc says Bed Bath & Beyond shares can fall to 10 cents amid bankruptcy warning

KeyBanc is expecting shares of Bed Bath & Beyond to fall to 10 cents as the beaten down retailer warns it could seek bankruptcy protection.

Analyst Bradley Thomas reiterated his underweight rating on shares, while slashing his price target to 10 cents from $2. That implies 94% downside from Thursday’s close.

Read more on the call from KeyBanc here.

— Samantha Subin

Services sector contracted in December, ISM survey shows

The services sector contracted in December amid a pullback in new orders and production, the Institute for Supply Management reported Friday.

The ISM Services index fell to 49.6% for the month, well below the Dow Jones estimate for a 55.1% reading. The gauge measures the percentage of businesses reporting expansion, with a reading below 50% indicating contraction.

New orders fell 10.8 percentage point while business activity and production dropped 10 points. Prices fell 2.4 points to 67.6%, still a high number but representative of some softening in inflation. Employment also fell, moving down 1.7 points to 49.8% and into contraction territory.

—Jeff Cox

Morgan Stanley says banks’ 4Q results hit by higher loan loss reserves and expenses

Jane Fraser speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Monday, April 29, 2019.

Kyle Grillot | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Banks reporting fourth-quarter results next week will miss earnings estimates because they’ll need to plow money into loan loss reserves ahead of an expected downturn, according to Morgan Stanley analysts led by Betsy Graseck.

The companies will likely “incorporate a more severe economic outlook” into their scenarios for loan defaults this year, forcing them to set aside more than expected in reserves, Graseck wrote in a note published Friday.

On top of that, banks are likely to disclose bigger-than-expected increases to 2023 expense guidance because of wage inflation, Graseck wrote. She expects the median big bank to guide to about 4% expense growth, above the consensus of 3%.

Her pessimistic view on banks is shared by Deutsche Bank analyst Matt O’Connor, who cut his recommendation on Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase shares to hold from buy on Friday.

For her part, Graseck cut her price targets for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup shares by 7.3% and 8.9% respectively, thanks in part to her thesis.

On the other hand, she favors Wells Fargo, JPMorgan and Northern Trust heading into earnings because each bank could surprise to the upside on revenue and expenses, Graseck wrote.

—Hugh Son

Tesla falls to fresh 2-year low

Tesla shares reached their lowest level in about two years Friday after the electric car maker cut its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. The stock traded 5.6% lower, dragging down the Nasdaq Composite.

Jobs report boosted expectations for soft landing, but recession clock is ticking, Shah says

Investors cheered Friday’s jobs report as signaling that a soft landing – a scenario in which the Federal Reserve tames inflation but doesn’t push the economy into a recession – is more likely.

“A lower unemployment rate and weaker average hourly earnings growth is certainly going to get equity market bulls’ attention,” Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Asset Management said in a Friday note. “Indeed, expectations for a soft landing in the economy have likely been boosted in light of today’s jobs report.”

Still, investors may not want to cheer the news too much as it likely won’t change the Fed’s actions in the coming months.

“Yet, with the unemployment rate back to the historic low of 3.5%, how realistic is it to expect wage growth to move meaningfully lower? The Fed will likely be skeptical,” she said. “And so, with the record low unemployment rate indicating that there is still so much work ahead of them, Fed policy rates are set to rise above 5% within just a few months and a hard landing looks to be the most likely outcome this year. The recession clock is ticking.”

—Carmen Reinicke

Stocks open higher after better than expected jobs report

U.S. stocks opened higher Friday after investors cheered the December jobs report, which showed the labor market remains resilient but that wages aren’t gaining as much as expected amid the Fed’s interest rate hikes to tame inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 255 points, or 0.77%. The S&P 500 gained 0.68%, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 0.44%.

—Carmen Reinicke

Wages improve but jobs report keeps Fed on track to raise rates

Wage growth in December was less than the 5% annual pace expected by economists, but it should not influence the Federal Reserve’s rate hiking path when it meets in February.

Some economists expect the Fed will raise rates by a half percentage point, while traders in the futures market have been betting on a quarter point hike.

“This is steady as she goes for the Fed. There’s no reason to stop raising rates at this time,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at KPMG. “They still have wages growing at 4.6%, which is above the 3% to 4% they think is necessary to bring inflation down to their 2% target. The trend is the right direction for the Fed. Average hours worked continued to tick down.”

The economy added 223,000 jobs in December, more than the 200,000 expected by economists. Average hourly wages increased 0.3% on a monthly basis.

“We’ve got 4.5 million new pay checks for the year. That’s the second strongest year on record,” said Swonk. She said 2022 was second to 2021, when there were 6.7 million jobs created. “The only thing close was 1946 when soldiers returned to civilian work after World War II.”

December jobs report should add investor confusion, market volatility

Investors are so far cheering the December jobs report, which showed wage gains may have moderated, signaling progress in the fight against high inflation. Still, it’s likely to lead to choppy markets.

“While the easing of wage pressures may initially be cheered by markets, workers are still not keeping up with inflation, therefore pressuring consumption trends,” said John Lynch, Chief Investment Officer for Comerica Wealth Management.

“This report should add to investor confusion and heighten market volatility in the weeks ahead,” he added. “It also complicates the Fed’s battle against inflation, though the minutes from the December monetary policy meeting reiterate the committee’s resolve.”

“A 50-basis point move is back on the table for the next FOMC meeting in a few weeks,” he said.

—Carmen Reinicke

U.S. economy adds more jobs than expected in December

The U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs last month, slightly more than a Dow Jones consensus forecast for a 200,000 gain. This is yet another sign that the economy remains strong even as the Federal Reserve tries to tame inflation through higher rates. However, wages grew at a slightly slower-than-expected pace, increasing 0.3% versus an estimate of 0.4%.

— Fred Imbert

Stocks making the biggest premarket moves

Southwest projects fourth-quarter loss after mass flight cancelations

Last month’s operational meltdown was a costly one for Southwest, the airline said Friday.

The airline released guidance for its fourth quarter results that projected a net loss for the period, due in part to charges of between $725 million and $825 million from flight cancelations. Between $400 million and $425 million was lost revenue from the flights, while the rest comes from reimbursements to customers, premium pay to employees and other factors.

Shares of Southwest were down 2.7% in premarket trading.

— Jesse Pound

Citi downgrades U.S. equities, saying valuations are expensive

Citi has cut its rating on U.S. equities to underweight heading into the new year, partially due to the dollar’s strength waning.

“We are no longer dollar bulls, which helped keep us Overweight in 2022,” Robert Buckland wrote in a Friday note. “Valuations remain expensive compared to elsewhere.”

He also noted that earnings expectations look too optimistic, especially given the 2023 recession that Citi economists are forecasting.

He also downgraded Japan, noting that it “remains a highly cyclical stock market and is vulnerable to an appreciation in the yen.”

—Carmen Reinicke

JPMorgan downgrades Silvergate Capital

JPMorgan downgraded crypto bank Silvergate Capital, citing concern around the company’s huge fourth-quarter withdrawals.

“While the challenging backdrop for the crypto settlement business was a factor in the worse than expected results being released, we also believe that concerns voiced by short-sellers (on Twitter) likely also contributed to Silvergate’s customers withdrawing deposits from the platform at a greater than anticipated level,” JPMorgan said. “The implications to the company’s business from the significant reduction in client deposits has near- as well as longer-term impacts,” 

Shares fell more than 15% in the premarket after plunging more than 40% on Thursday.

— Sam Subin

Tesla shares fall after EV maker cuts China prices again

Tesla fell 5% in the premarket after the Elon Musk-led company lowered prices for its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in China. The EV maker said the cars would now be priced at 229,900 yuan (about $33,374) and 259,900 yuan, respectively.

Reuters calculations show these prices are 13%-24% from four months ago. Tesla had lowered prices in October in an effort to prop up sales against rivals in China such as BYD.

— Fred Imbert, Jihye Lee

Deutsche Bank downgrades Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase

Deutsche Bank analyst Matt O’Connor downgraded Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase to hold from buy, citing a weakening macro outlook.

“In some ways, it’s tempting to get more positive given stocks are already down sharply, inflation seems to be slowing and Fed rate hikes may be coming to an end,” he said. “But our gut is that stocks will set new lows and fully (or close to it) price in a US recession suggesting there’s more risk from here.”

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Sam Subin

European markets mixed ahead of key euro zone inflation data

European markets were cautious on Friday morning ahead of key inflation data for the euro zone, which is expected to show a further slowdown in consumer price increases.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index hovered just above the flatline in early trade, with basic resources adding 1.2% while utilities fell 0.4%.

Flash euro zone consumer price index inflation figures are due late morning. After France, Germany and Italy all reported better-than-expected slowdowns over the course of the week, investors are hopeful that inflation has passed its peak across the 20-member common currency bloc.

WWE shares rise in extended trading

— Rebecca Picciotto, Sarah Min

Leon Cooperman says new bull market isn’t coming anytime soon

Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman said he’s still holding a cautious view on stocks and the economy, but he’s finding cheap stocks to buy after the recent correction.

“I would basically take the position that we’re in a market of stocks rather than a stock market,” Cooperman said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell Overtime” Thursday. “I think anybody looking for a new bull market anytime soon is looking the wrong way.”

CNBC Pro subscribers can read the full story here.

— Yun Li

Where the major averages stand this week

Stocks are set to close out the first trading week of the year with losses. As of Thursday’s close, here are where the major averages stand:

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.66% week to date, on pace for its fourth negative week in five.
  • The S&P is down 0.82% week to date, on pace for its fifth negative week in a row for the first time since its 7-week streak ending 5/20/2022.
  • The NASDAQ is down 1.54% week to date, on pace for its fifth negative week in a row for the first time since its 7-week streak ending 5/20/2022.   

— Chris Hayes, Sarah Min

Stock futures open higher

U.S. stock futures opened higher Thursday night after the major averages declined on the back of strong jobs data that could point to further rate hikes, and as investors looked ahead to the December jobs report Friday.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose by 21 points, or 0.06%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.13% and 0.19%, respectively.

— Sarah Min


Here's what people with long Covid need to know about navigating health insurance

Halfpoint Images | Moment | Getty Images

Navigating the health insurance system is often difficult and overwhelming, even in the best of times. For patients with long Covid, a relatively new condition that frequently leaves patients with a lengthy and unpredictable list of debilitating symptoms, it can be especially nightmarish.

“Even if you remain on the same [health insurance] plan you had before Covid, you will probably utilize the health-care system more, whether it be more office visits, more prescription medications or even more medical devices,” said Caitlin Donovan, a spokesperson for the National Patient Advocate Foundation.

Indeed, nearly half of people with long Covid reported increased medical expenses, according to a recent survey conducted by the Patient Advocate Foundation. The nonprofit, NPAF’s sister organization, polled 64 people with the condition between 2020 and 2022. Meanwhile, 13% of respondents in the PAF survey said they’d experienced changes to their health-care coverage as a result of long Covid.

More from Your Health, Your Money

Here’s a look at more stories on the complexities and implications of long Covid:

In all, one Harvard University researcher estimated that long Covid could leave patients with an extra $9,000 a year in medical expenses.

Here’s what you need to know about navigating health insurance with the condition.

Unemployed long Covid patients have coverage options

Between 2 million and 4 million full-time workers are out of the labor force due to long Covid, according to recent research from the Brookings Institution.

If long Covid causes you to lose or leave your job and, therefore, your employer-sponsored health insurance, don’t panic. You may have several options for getting new coverage, said Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

There are resources you can turn to for help deciding the best route to getting reinsured. If you have a diagnosed condition, including long Covid, you may be able to get support deciding on and enrolling in a plan with the Patient Advocate Foundation.

At no charge, you can also consult with a local health-care “navigator,” an expert who can help you search insurance plans and enroll in one on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace.

1. Join a family member’s plan

Losing your job-based coverage triggers a 30-day special enrollment opportunity to join a family member’s plan, Pollitz said. You might consider getting covered through your spouse’s employer or a parent’s, if you’re under 26.

2. Extend workplace coverage

If your former company had at least 20 employees, you might also have the option to get insured through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA, Pollitz said.

COBRA typically allows people who leave a company to remain on their workplace insurance plan for up to 18 months — although it’s not cheap. (It tends to be pricey because you pick up the part of the health insurance tab your former company was covering.)

There are exceptions that can stretch coverage. If the Social Security Administration considers you disabled (long Covid can qualify as a disability), you may be able to stay on COBRA for an additional 11 months. Those who qualify for Medicare around the time they part with a company may also qualify for an extension beyond the typical 18 months.

3. See if you qualify for Medicaid

If your job loss has left your household with a substantially lower income, you may be able to enroll in Medicaid, Pollitz said. “This is comprehensive public coverage with no monthly premium,” she said. Eligibility is based on your current income, Pollitz added, and you can sign up year-round.

If you’re receiving disability benefits from a private insurer and/or through your employer, that income won’t necessarily disqualify you for Medicaid; you’ll want to check whether or not the payments are subject to taxes.

“If the benefits are taxable as income, then they would count toward Medicaid eligibility,” Pollitz said.

Even if you remain on the same plan you had before Covid, you will probably utilize the health-care system more.

Caitlin Donovan

spokesperson at the Patient Advocate Foundation

4. Sign up for a plan on the public exchange

Long Covid patients who have recently become unemployed may also be able to get health insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace. Losing your job triggers a 60-day enrollment period on the marketplace, where many of the plans are subsidized.

“Fortunately, ACA insurers are not allowed to discriminate based on health,” said Jonathan Gruber, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former director of the health-care program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. “So having long Covid will not raise costs.”

5. Explore Medicare eligibility

Lastly, if you end up qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance because of your long Covid, you may become eligible for Medicare, even if you’re younger than 65, after a two-year waiting period.

If you’re already 65 or older when you lose your job, Medicare may be your best option for coverage, Donovan said.

“Medicare comes with the benefit of an almost universal network, in contrast to marketplace plans,” Donovan said, adding that delaying enrollment once you’re eligible can also subject you to financial penalties.

Employed patients ought to review benefits

If your case of long Covid hasn’t disrupted your employment and you remain insured at work, you’ll want to make sure you’re signed up in a robust plan, Donovan said.

A more comprehensive workplace plan typically comes with a higher monthly premium but lower out-of-pocket expenses and more options, Donovan said. It’s especially important, she added, that you get the most generous prescription drug plan, if your company offers a variety of them.

Educate yourself as much as you can about your coverage, Donovan said, including information on providers and treatments that you might formerly not have considered.

Long Covid patients, for example, often seek physical therapy and mental health services, she said.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re up to date on your employer’s paid time off and sick days policy.

Clinical trials are ‘worth investigating’

Clinical trials, many of which are covered by health insurance plans, can be a great option for long Covid patients, Donovan said.

“Long Covid is still new, so anyone who participates in a clinical trial will be contributing to our understanding of the condition and advancing our ability to treat it,” she said.

Why long Covid could cost the U.S. nearly $4 trillion

And, she added, “clinical trial participants may have access to the newest safe and effective treatments.”

Trials take place all over the country, and some are even virtual, Donovan said. People can find out more at and by talking to their doctor.

Keep in mind, Donovan said, that your health insurance plan may require any trials be in-network and it may only cover certain costs of the experience.

Still, Donovan said, “it’s worth investigating.”

Meanwhile, those looking to save money on prescription costs should ask about generic options, which tend to be cheaper than the brand-name medicines.

In addition, Donovan said, programs like GoodRx may help you cut costs on certain drugs. And the Patient Advocate Foundation has a charitable copay program to which those struggling financially can apply.

Finally, Donovan said, with so much still unknown about long Covid, insurers may be more likely to reject coverage for a particular treatment or service. Patients should fight back, she said.

“Don’t lose hope,” Donovan said. “Go through the appeal process: Over 40% of denials are overturned in the patient’s favor.”


China's big cities are starting to look past Covid, while rural areas brace for infections

Subway passenger traffic in Shanghai is quickly returning to levels seen before the latest Covid wave, according to Wind data. Pictured here is a subway car in the city on Jan. 4, 2023.

Hugo Hu | Getty Images News | Getty Images

BEIJING — China will likely be able to live with Covid-19 by the end of March, based on how quickly people have returned to the streets, said Larry Hu, chief China economist at Macquarie.

Subway and road data show traffic in major cities is rebounding, he pointed out, indicating the worst of the latest Covid wave has passed.

“The dramatic U-turn in China’s Covid policy since mid-Nov implies deeper short-term economic contraction but faster reopening and recovery,” Hu said in a report Wednesday. “The economy could see a strong recovery in Spring.”

In the last several days, the southern city of Guangzhou and the tourist destination of Sanya said they’d passed the peak of the Covid wave.

Chongqing municipal health authorities said Tuesday that daily visitors to major fever clinics was just over 3,000 — down sharply from Dec. 16 when the number of patients received topped 30,000. The province-level region has a population of about 32 million.

Stock market could catch tailwind from China ending 'zero-Covid,' says Hightower's Link

Chongqing was the most congested city in mainland China during Thursday morning’s rush hour, according to Baidu traffic data. The figures showed increased traffic from a week ago across Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other major cities.

As of Wednesday, subway ridership in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou had climbed significantly from the lows of the last few weeks — but had only recovered to about two-thirds of last year’s levels, according to Wind Information.

Caixin’s monthly survey of services businesses in December found they were the most optimistic they’d been in about a year-and-a-half, according to a release Thursday. The seasonally adjusted business activity index rose to 48 in December, up from a six-month low of 46.7 in November.

That below-50 reading still indicates a contraction in business activity. The index for a separate Caixin survey of manufacturers edged down to 49 in December, from 49.4 in November. Their optimism was the highest in ten months.

Poorer, rural areas next

Shanghai medical researchers projected in a study that the latest Covid wave would pass through major Chinese cities by the end of 2022, while rural areas — and more distant provinces in central and western China — would be hit by infections in mid- to late-January.

“The duration and magnitude of upcoming outbreak could be dramatically enhanced by the extensive travels during the Spring Festival (January 21, 2023),” the researchers said in a paper published in late December by Frontiers of Medicine, a journal sponsored by China’s Ministry of Education.

Typically hundreds of millions of people travel during the holiday, also known as the Lunar New Year.

The researchers said senior citizens, especially those with underlying health conditions, in China’s remote areas face a greater risk of severe illness from the highly transmissible omicron variant. The authors were particularly worried about the lack of medicine and intensive care units in the the countryside.

Even before the pandemic, China’s public health system was stretched. People from across the country often traveled to crowded hospitals in the capital city of Beijing in order to get better health care than they could in their hometowns.

Oxford Economics senior economist Louise Loo remained cautious about a rapid rebound in China’s economy.

“A normalisation in economic activity will take some time, requiring among other things a change in public perceptions towards contracting Covid and vaccine effectiveness,” Loo said in a report Wednesday.

The firm expects China’s GDP will grow by 4.2% in 2023.

Lingering long-term risk

The medical researchers also warned of the risk that omicron outbreaks on the mainland “might appear in multiple waves,” with new surges in infections possible in late 2023. “The importance of regular monitoring of circulating SARS-CoV-2 sublineages and variants across China shall not be overestimated in the months and years to come.”

However, amid a lack of timely information, the World Health Organization said Wednesday it was asking China for “more rapid, regular, reliable data on hospitalizations and deaths, as well as more comprehensive, real-time viral sequencing.”

China in early December abruptly ended many of its stringent Covid controls that had restricted business and social activity. On Sunday, the country is set to formally end a quarantine requirement for inbound travelers, while restoring the ability of Chinese citizens to travel abroad for leisure. The country imposed strict border controls beginning in March 2020 in an attempt to contain Covid domestically.

Why China shows no sign of backing away from its 'zero-Covid' strategy


Tesla suppliers' shares jump as electric automaker cuts prices for some models in China

Hong Kong, China, 13 Sept 2022, A red Tesla car passes in front of a Tesla dealership in Wanchai. (Photo by Marc Fernandes/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Tesla’s Chinese suppliers jumped after the electric automaker slashed prices for some models in China.

In a Weibo post, the company said its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in China would now be priced at 229,900 yuan (about $33,374) and 259,900 yuan, respectively.

The latest prices represent a drop of 13% to 24% from four months ago, according to Reuters calculations.

Shenzhen-listed shares of Tesla’s Chinese suppliers rallied on optimism the price cut could boost demand.

Shares of Anhui Shiny Electronic Technology closed 8.8% higher and Hengdian Group DMEGC Magnetics gained nearly 9%. Zhejiang Chint Electrics closed 7.92% higher and Shandong Jinjing Science & Tech rose more than 6%.

Tesla previously cut prices in China in late October in a bid to prop up sales and its competitive edge against rivals including BYD, which recently unveiled new luxury models.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

Grace Tao, a Tesla vice president of external affairs in China, said in a Weibo post that the latest price adjustments were meant to boost demand.

The moves “respond to the government’s call with practical actions to promote economic development and encourage consumption,” Tao wrote.

Separately, the China Passenger Car Association reported on Thursday that Tesla’s December sales of China-made cars fell to 55,796, the lowest in five months.

— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.


Bills-Bengals game postponed after Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest won't be made up, NFL says

Buffalo Bills players kneel after teammate Damar Hamlin #3 collapsed following a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium on Jan. 2, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kirk Irwin | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

The postponed Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game will not be made up following the terrifying collapse of safety Damar Hamlin, the league said Thursday.

With one game left in the regular season, the NFL is still working out the details of how the now-canceled game will affect seeding for the playoffs, which begin Jan. 14-15.

The NFL acknowledged that canceling the game “creates potential competitive inequities in certain playoff scenarios,” and said NFL clubs will consider a resolution at a special league meeting Friday.

Part of it could involve the Jan. 29 AFC Championship Game being played at a neutral site.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in Thursday’s statement that “This has been a very difficult week,” and the league is focused on Hamlin’s recovery.

Because of the one canceled game, the Bills and Bengals will have played 16 games, while all other NFL teams will have played 17.

The Bills had long ago clinched the AFC East and were in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 seed in the conference. Now at 12-3, Buffalo trails 13-3 Kansas City for the AFC’s top spot, which carries a first-round playoff bye.

Had the Bills won Monday night, they would have had as many wins as the Chiefs while holding a tiebreaker over Kansas City.

This weekend, Buffalo plays New England; Cincinnati plays Baltimore; and Kansas City plays Las Vegas.

Why NFL players are wearing this new custom 3D-printed helmet

In the resolution to be considered by NFL teams Friday, the AFC Championship Game would be played at a neutral site under three scenarios, according to the NFL:

  • If Buffalo and Kansas City both win or both tie, Buffalo vs. Kansas City would be at a neutral site for the championship.
  • If Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Baltimore wins or ties, Buffalo vs. Kansas City would be at a neutral site.
  • And if Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Cincinnati wins, a Buffalo or Cincinnati vs. Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.

Another component is if Baltimore beats Cincinnati, the NFL said. In that case, Baltimore would not host a playoff game because Cincinnati will have a higher winning percentage based on the games each played.

If Baltimore beats Cincinnati and both teams end up facing each other in the Wild Card, a coin toss will determine who hosts.

Monday’s key contest between first-place Bills and Bengals was called off shortly after 10 p.m. ET that night, with the NFL saying the game had been “postponed” — leaving the door slightly ajar for Buffalo and Cincinnati to restart play at another time.

When Hamlin went down, the Bengals were leading, 7-3, in the first quarter.

Hamlin collapsed moments after tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. The play appeared to be routine as Hamlin quickly got up and briefly grabbed or adjusted his own face mask before falling backward.

Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest, but his brain function appeared to be in good condition, the Buffalo Bills said Thursday, following days of uncertainty and worry.

“Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours,” the team tweeted. “While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact.”

In their final regular season games, the Bills will host the New England Patriots and the Bengals are home to the Baltimore Ravens. Both games are at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Who really pays for NFL stadiums?

The now-canceled game wouldn’t have mattered as far as any other team making or not making the playoffs, which the NFL said was a factor in the decision.

In Thursday’s statement about the canceled game and postseason, Goodell said the league strove to minimize disruptions and inequalities.

“I recognize that there is no perfect solution,” Goodell said. “The proposal we are asking the ownership to consider, however, addresses the most significant potential equitable issues created by the difficult, but necessary, decision not to play the game under these extraordinary circumstances.”


Russia's 36-hour cease-fire begins; Zelenskyy rejects pause as a 'cover' to advantage Russian troops

Russia’s 36-hour cease-fire begins

Ukrainian soldiers of a special forces unit prepare to fire mortar shells at Russian forces amid artillery fights on Dec. 20, 2022, in Bakhmut, Ukraine.

Pierre Crom | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russia’s cease-fire, ordered by Putin for Russian Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 7, began officially at noon Moscow time.

“At noon today, the ceasefire regime came into force on the entire contact line. It will continue until the end of 7 January,” Russia’s state Channel One news announced.

The move is seen by many as a chance to let Russian soldiers rest and recuperate and to prevent Ukrainian troops from making territorial gains. Ukraine has rejected the cease-fire, likening it to a trap aimed at giving Russian forces an advantage.

— Natasha Turak

Zelenskyy rejects Putin’s temporary cease-fire proposal, says war will end ‘when your soldiers leave’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy slammed a proposal from Russian President Vladimir Putin for a temporary cease-fire during Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 7.

Ukrinform | Future Publishing | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy slammed a proposal from Russian President Vladimir Putin for a temporary cease-fire during Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 7, calling it a cover to stop Ukrainian forces’ advances and bring in more reinforcements for Russian troops.

“They now want to use Christmas as a cover, albeit briefly, to stop the advances of our boys in Donbas and bring equipment, ammunition and mobilized troops closer to our positions,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address. “What will that give them? Only yet another increase in their total losses.”

Zelenskyy spoke in Russian rather than Ukrainian, and said that a real cease-fire meant “ending your country’s aggression … And the war will end either when your soldiers leave or we throw them out.”

Many have pointed out that Russia did not offer a cease-fire on on Dec. 25, which is celebrated by many Orthodox Ukrainians, or for the new year. New Year’s Eve saw Russia attacking cities in Ukraine with drone strikes, taking out power infrastructure and destroying residential buildings.

— Natasha Turak

Bradley armored vehicles will provide ‘firepower and armor that will bring advantages on the battlefield,’ Pentagon says

Ukrainian soldiers with the 43rd Heavy Artillery Brigade sit atop 2S7 Pion self propelled cannon on the battlefield, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, during intense shelling on the front line in Bakhmut, Ukraine, December 26, 2022.

Clodagh Kilcoyne | Reuters

The Pentagon said that the Bradley Fighting Vehicles will provide Ukraine with an advantage on the battlefield but declined to elaborate on how the armored vehicles would be equipped and how long training would take.

It was also unclear how many Bradleys the U.S. would send to Ukraine and how long it would take for the tracked armored vehicles to make their debut on the battlefield against Russia.

The White House is slated to announce the next security assistance package on Friday.

Pentagon Press Secretary U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said that the Bradleys will provide “a level of firepower and armor that will bring advantages on the battlefield as Ukraine continues to defend their homeland.”

— Amanda Macias

‘We know better than to take anything we see or hear from Russia at face value,’ State Department says of Russia’s proposed truce

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price holds a press briefing on Afghanistan at the State Department in Washington, August 16, 2021.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

State Department spokesman Ned Price said it was up to Ukraine if they want to participate in Russia’s proposed truce.

Price said that the U.S. has “little faith in the intentions behind this announcement,” adding that Russia has previously broken such promises.

“We know better than to take anything we see or hear from Russia at face value. Unfortunately, they have given us no reason to take anything that they offer at face value,” Price added.

Earlier on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a temporary ceasefire.

The cease-fire would allow Orthodox Christians in Russia and Ukraine to celebrate Christmas services.

— Amanda Macias

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here: