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The Dow Jones Industrial Average projected a small gain in pre-market hours as investors awaited the arrival of the November jobs report.
This morning, the Department of Labor said that U.S. unemployment remained at a 49-year low.
However, the U.S. economy created just 155,000 new jobs, a figure that was well short of the 198,000 expected by economists.
Here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus Friday's economic calendar.
Money Morning Insight of the Day
The 2018 midterm election was a turning point for the cannabis industry.
We expect nothing short of historic profits by the end of the year.
But not all pot stocks will hand you life-changing wins. In fact, often the companies making headlines are least likely to see the biggest gains.
These three stocks, on the other hand, are flying under the radar... for now. Each of them could see exponential stock price acceleration at any moment, and if you get in before that happens, you could turn a token stake into a lifetime of wealth.
I don't know of any other sector providing anywhere near this level of growth now.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- The Wall Street Journal said this morning that the U.S. Federal Reserve might hold off on raising interest rates in December. Ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's final meeting of the year, reporters say that the Fed may take a "wait and see" approach to rate hikes. Markets have faced a wealth of turmoil this week as investors worry that higher rates could stall the U.S. economy.
- U.S. President Donald Trump said this morning that trade discussions with China are "going very well." The Dow fell sharply this week on concerns that the United States and China would not be able to reach a deal and that the two countries would proceed with raising tariffs on each other.
- Investors are looking for more information on the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was taken into custody this week by the Canadian government. The executive faces a bail hearing this afternoon in British Columbia, and the United States is seeking her extradition. Early reports indicate that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating that she violated U.S. sanctions against Iran. The story has become another major obstacle between the United States and China on trade.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: MO, BIG, AMZN
- Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) will make a $1.8 billion investment in cannabis producer Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON). This morning, reports confirmed that the tobacco producer has taken a 45% stake in the firm. This is the latest development that signifies that cannabis is a mainstream investment.
- Shares of Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG) plunged more than 15% after the discount retailer offered a dismal earnings report in pre-market hours. The firm reported losses of $0.14 per share. Wall Street only expected a loss of $0.01 per share. Although the company did beat earnings expectations, it slashed its full-year guidance and said that it will face a difficult holiday shopping season.
- Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has its next group of retailers in its sights. The e-commerce giant will test its cashier-less stores and technology in airports. The news is part of the firm's growing brick-and-mortar strategy.
- Today, look for an earnings report from Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN).
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.