Dow Futures are down 18 points this morning after the United States lost jobs in September for the first time in seven years. The Dow has been on a run of four straight record-high closes.
Here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus Friday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- The U.S. Department of Labor reported that while 33,000 jobs were lost in September, largely thanks to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the unemployment rate dipped to 4.2%, its lowest rate since 2001. The conflicting numbers are the result of how the Labor Department calculates each measure. We'll have to wait and see how traders respond to the confusion and how future months will clarify the U.S. economic picture.
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- Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) will generate some buzz today thanks to the company's outspoken CEO, Elon Musk. According to reports, Musk suggested that his company could rebuild Puerto Rico's energy grid in the wake of Hurricane Maria by using solar power and battery storage. The island is still without electricity after nearly a month. Musk plans to speak to Puerto Rico's governor about how Tesla can help bring the grid back online.
- While Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will take up a lot of real estate in this morning's jobs report, meteorologists are closely watching Tropical Storm Nate as it approaches Mexico and the United States. The storm was responsible for the deaths of 22 people as it makes its way into the Gulf of Mexico. There's still more than a month of "hurricane season" left, and as a major energy hub in the United States, the Gulf of Mexico is particularly vulnerable to disruption from hurricanes.
- Crude oil prices were falling in premarket hours as concerns about global supplies reemerged. Crude prices were on track for their largest weekly loss in three months, while Brent is on pace for its first weekly loss in four months. Oversupply concerns have emerged on news that several U.S. refineries have shut down ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Nate. The WTI crude oil price today fell nearly 1% in premarket hours. Brent crude was off 0.5%.
China Can't Slow Bitcoin's Insane Trajectory
- The cryptocurrency markets are still reacting to news that China's press agency, Xinhua, suggested that government officials could alter their stance on cryptocurrencies in the future. Although Xinhua had previously called for "iron fist" governance on the Bitcoin market, it also suggested a future where official, licensed Bitcoin exchanges were in operation. For more insight into how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices are trading, read more here.
Stocks to Watch Today: NFLX, COST, PG
- Shares of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) continued to rise in premarket hours as investor cheered the firm's decision to hike prices on its standard and premium streaming services. The service that allows users to watch programming on two screens at once will increase from $9.99 to $10.99 per month. The four-screen plan will increase from $11.99 to $13.99. This is the second time in three years that Netflix has increased its prices. NFLX stock is trading at an all-time high this morning and has gained more than 55% since Jan. 1.
- Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST) were off more than 2.5% after the firm shared its earnings report after the bell Thursday. The firm topped Wall Street earnings per share and revenue expectations by reporting $2.08 per share and $42.3 billion in revenue. The stock fell as traders grew concerned about the retail giant's declining margins.
- Activist investor Nelson Peltz just received an important endorsement around his battle to join the board of directors at Proctor & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG). The California State Teachers' Retirement System announced it plans to support Peltz, who is locked in a proxy battle against the global conglomerate. Peltz has accused the firm of suffering from "suffocating bureaucracy" and will be up for a vote to join the board on Oct. 10. In an interview Friday morning with CNBC, Peltz said he is seeking a board seat because the company has "lost its soul." Expect the war of words to ramp up in the week ahead.
- No major U.S. companies are reporting earnings reports on Friday.
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Employment Situation at 8:30 a.m.
- Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic speaks at 9:15 a.m.
- Wholesale Trade at 10 a.m.
- New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley speaks at 12:15 p.m.
- Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan speaks at 12:45 p.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
- Louis Federal Reserve Chair James Bullard speaks at 1:50 p.m.
- Consumer Credit at 3 p.m.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.