5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday
Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
Futures fell on weaker jobs growth; yields up on lower unemployment rate
Hiring in December stumbles with only 199,000 positions created
GameStop soars on reports that it plans to get into crypto
Moderna CEO says another Covid booster shot may be needed
Supreme Court to consider vaccine rules affecting over 80 million
1. Futures fell on weaker jobs growth; yields up on lower unemployment rate
U.S. stock futures fell Friday after the government’s latest employment report showed much weaker-than-expected jobs growth in December. The 10-year Treasury yield topped 1.76% following a lower-than–expected unemployment rate.
The Nasdaq on Thursday dropped for the third straight day after sinking 4% over the two previous sessions. The tech-heavy index was 6% away from its latest record close in November. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped Thursday, logging three- and two-day losing streaks, respectively. They both hit record highs earlier this week.
Shares of Apple rose in Friday’s premarket. However, the stock has dropped 6% from Tuesday’s all-time high and this week’s punch through a $3 trillion market value. Apple CEO Tim Cook received $98.73 million in compensation in the company’s fiscal 2021, according to an SEC filing published Thursday.
2. Hiring in December stumbles with only 199,000 positions created
The Labor Department’s December jobs report on Friday morning showed just 199,000 nonfarm payrolls were added last month, less than half of what analysts had been expecting. The nation’s unemployment rate fell more than expected to 3.9%. Average hourly earnings rose more than expected as the U.S. sees its fastest inflation pace in nearly 40 years.
Investors are picking through the numbers to see if they might impact the Federal Reserve‘s plans to tighten monetary policy to tamp down price pressures. The stock market took a big hit Wednesday after minutes from the Fed’s December meeting revealed preparations for a balance sheet reduction, in addition to planned interest rate hikes and an accelerated tapering of bond purchases.
3. GameStop soars on reports that it plans to get into crypto
Shares of GameStop surged 18% in Friday’s premarket after The Wall Street Journal reported the video game retailer plans to create a marketplace for NFTs, nonfungible tokens. GameStop also intends to establish cryptocurrency partnerships to create games and items for the marketplace, according to the Journal. The report suggests that GameStop, which has been at the center of a retail trader meme stock frenzy, will expand into one of the most hyped sectors in technology. GameStop shares jumped nearly 700% in 2021. However, as of Thursday’s closed, the stock was down more than 70% from its January 2021 all-time high of $483.
4. Moderna CEO says another Covid booster shot may be needed
The efficacy of Covid vaccine boosters will likely decline over time and a fourth shot may be needed next fall to increase protection, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said Thursday at Goldman Sachs’ influential health-care conference. Bancel said people who got boosters this fall will likely have enough protection to get them through the winter, when infections tend to surge as people gather indoors to escape the cold. However, Bancel said the efficacy of boosters will probably decline over the course of several months, similar to what happened with the first two doses of its Covid vaccine.
5. Supreme Court to consider vaccine rules affecting over 80 million
The Supreme Court on Friday will take up two major Biden administration efforts to bump up the nation’s Covid vaccination rates at a time of spiking coronavirus cases due to the omicron variant. The justices on the conservative-dominated court are set to hear arguments about whether to allow the administration to enforce a vaccine-or-testing requirement for large employers and a separate vaccine mandate for most health-care workers. The eventual outcome at the high court will probably determine the fate of vaccine requirements affecting more than 80 million people.