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The Dow Jones Industrial Average will continue to bounce back after the release of the November job report.
Dow futures are up 55 points this morning thanks to positive numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor's November jobs report. The unemployment rate remained unchanged, and wages increased compared to October. Here's how you can get an investing edge as the economy grows and Congress nears a historic tax cut.
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.
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The Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- This morning, the U.S. Department of Labor released the November jobs report. The U.S. economy added 228,000 new non-farm positions last month, a figure that topped Wall Street estimates of 200,000. The unemployment rate remained unchanged from October, coming in at 4.1%. Hourly earnings increased by 0.3% and are now up 2.7% for the year. Although income growth remains stubbornly low, the U.S. Federal Reserve is still likely to raise interest rates next week during the final FOMC meeting of the year.
- The U.S. government will not shut down. The dollar rebounded this morning after Congress voted for a spending bill that will keep the U.S. government open for another two weeks. However, this means that Congress will need to work together almost immediately to craft a long-term spending plan that finances the government. Some Republicans may hold out due to concerns about spiraling U.S. debt. Meanwhile, many Democrats are demanding compromise on immigration policy before a new spending bill sees the light of day.
- Gold prices slipped slightly in pre-market hours on Friday. Today's strong rally in the U.S. dollar has pushed gold to its largest single-week decline in May. With that in mind, the value under $1,250 is creating a fantastic buying opportunity for investors heading into a new year that will face a slew of geopolitical uncertainties. Here's our shocking new gold price forecast for 2020...
- Crude oil prices popped Friday morning on news of strong import levels from the Chinese economy and rising expectations about global demand. In a research report released yesterday, investment bank Jefferies predicted that international oil demand will increase by 1.5 million barrels each day next year. In addition, China's import figures hit their second-highest levels on record, and Jeffries expects that the country will surpass the United States as the world's largest crude importer by volume in 2018. WTI crude oil price today added 1.7%, while Brent crude added 1.6%.
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- The price of Bitcoin plunged over the last 24 hours after hitting an all-time high. The downturn coincided with news that investment banks are concerned about the safety around Bitcoin futures, which are slated to launch later this weekend. The Futures Industry Association, a trade association for brokers and financial institutions, warned U.S. regulators that we haven't properly studied and evaluated the potential risks of these futures contracts. The FIA wrote a letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission saying the rush to introduce Bitcoin futures does "not allow for proper public transparency and input."
Stocks to Watch Today: AOBC, JPM, C
- Ahead of the launch of Bitcoin futures this weekend, at least two major financial institutions will not be taking part. According to The Financial Times, both JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) will not clear Bitcoin trades once cryptocurrency futures trading begins next week. Bitcoin futures will trade on both CBOE Global Markets (Nasdaq: CBOE) and CME Group (Nasdaq: CME). Despite the objections by the two banks, Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) has agreed to clear some contracts when the futures trading process begins in the next few days.
- Shares of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) are on the move today after Piper Jaffray said the firm was very inexpensive compared to its rivals. The investment firm said that GM was one of its top picks for the year ahead and called it the "second-least-risky" firm that it covers. GM stock was up 0.4% in pre-market hours.
- Shares of American Outdoor Brands Corp. (Nasdaq: AOBC) plunged more than 14.5% after its firearms manufacturing fell well short of Wall Street earnings expectations after the bell Thursday. The parent of Smith & Wesson announced a 36.4% decline in its net sales compared to the same period last year. Though its quarterly net sales of $148.4 million were in line with Wall Street expectations, they were well below last year's Q3 numbers. Gun sales were much higher last year heading into the 2016 election.
- No major U.S. companies are set to report earnings on Friday morning.
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Employment Situation at 8:30 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- Wholesale Trade at 10 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.