U.S. stock futures rose Friday ahead of the before-the-bell release of the government's monthly employment report, which is expected to show a gain of 1 million nonfarm jobs in April. Signs of a recovering labor market in Thursday's Covid pandemic-era-low jobless claims pushed the Dow up nearly 1% to another record close. (CNBC)
A similar gain in the S&P 500 carried that index to within 10 points of last month's record close. The Nasdaq rose 0.4%, breaking a four-session losing streak, but still more than 3.5% away from April's record close. Ahead of Friday's open on Wall Street, the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down over 2.3% for the week. The Dow and S&P 500 were up nearly 2% and almost 0.5%, respectively, for the week. (CNBC)
The expected growth of 1 million jobs last month comes after 916,000 nonfarm payroll additions in March. The Labor Department is set to issue those April numbers at 8:30 a.m. ET. In a recovering economy on the back of increasing Covid vaccinations, more and more businesses are reopening and looking to hire. The nation's unemployment rate is seen dipping to 5.8% in April. (CNBC)
The April employment report is being widely watched by investors because of the Fed's pledge to keep its extraordinarily easy monetary policy, including near zero interest rates, in place until the job market heals and inflation starts picking up. However, many traders believe those things are already happening and the Fed might have to make adjustments sooner than it's been forecasting.
* Fed warns about potential for ‘significant declines’ in asset prices (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
Pfizer (PFE) and German drugmaker BioNTech (BNTX) have started the process to file for full approval of its Covid vaccine in the U.S., which would allow the companies to market the shot directly to consumers. The FDA granted the two-shot vaccine emergency authorization status in late December. (CNBC)
The CDC is aiming to allow cruise ships to resume sailings from U.S. ports this summer, but Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Frank Del Rio told CNBC on Thursday that won't likely happen given the agency's tough requirements. Del Rio claimed the requirements put on the cruise industry are tougher than those for any other industry.
* Fauci says vaccinated people who had Covid may have more protection against variants (CNBC)
Daily new Covid cases in India on Friday topped 400,000 for the third time this month. At least 3,915 people died from the disease during the latest 24-hour span as the South Asian country struggles to contain a devastating second wave. Many localities have tightened Covid mitigation measures even as the Indian government resisted a national lockdown. (CNBC)
Peloton expects its fiscal fourth-quarter sales to take a $165 million hit due to a recall of its treadmills. Following a rough week, shares jumped nearly 7% in premarket trading, the morning after the fitness equipment company reported a fiscal third-quarter revenue surge of 141% to a better-than-expected $1.26 billion. (CNBC)
Democratic Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms confirmed she will not seek a second term. Bottoms, 51, is expected to speak publicly about it Friday morning. She made headlines last year when she was in the running to become Joe Biden's running mate. (USA Today)
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is privately encouraging some of the state's wealthiest business leaders to remain in the Empire State and lobby lawmakers to remove the federal cap on state and local tax deductions, known as SALT. (CNBC)
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, who wants to dump Rep. Liz Cheney from the No. 3 House leadership position, is grooming newly transformed Trump acolyte, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., as her replacement. Like McCarthy, Stefanik is raising millions of dollars for the GOP as a Trump defender. (AP)
* FEC drops case reviewing Trump hush-money payments to women (NY Times)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Roku (ROKU) earned 54 cents per share for the first quarter, compared to forecasts of a 13 cents per share loss. Revenue also beat forecasts, and the maker of streaming video devices gave an upbeat forecast as homebound consumers continue to stream more content.
Square (SQ) more than doubled the 16 cent estimate with adjusted quarterly earnings of 41 cents per share, and the mobile payment company's revenue was substantially above estimates as well. Square got a boost from surging demand for bitcoin, sparking an increase in transactions on its peer-to-peer payment service Cash App.
Dropbox (DBX) came in 4 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 35 cents per share. Revenue, as well as average revenue per user, beat forecasts for the online storage service. The key metric of annual recurring revenue was also above Wall Street forecasts.
AMC Entertainment (AMC) lost $1.42 per share for the first quarter, wider than the loss of $1.30 that analysts were anticipating, and the movie theater chain operator's revenue missed estimates as well. However, AMC is anticipating improved business in the summer months.
Shake Shack (SHAK) reported an adjusted quarterly profit of 4 cents per share, compared to consensus forecasts of a 9 cents per share loss. The restaurant chain's revenue, however, did fall short of forecasts, and it gave a tepid current quarter sales outlook.
Beyond Meat (BYND) lost an adjusted 42 cents per share for the first quarter, more than double the 19 cents per share that analysts had expected the plant-based meat maker to lose. Revenue also missed forecasts, with the company saying the pandemic has dampened both retail and restaurant demand.
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