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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
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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).