BY THE NUMBERS
Dow futures are pointing to an opening drop of almost 150 points at the bell, but the government’s July employment report will likely determine the direction of Wall Street’s open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were also lower as investors reacted to President Donald Trump’s executive orders on two major Chinese tech companies. (CNBC)
* Treasury yields fall ahead of key jobs report; stimulus talks continue (CNBC)
It has been an extremely bullish week for equities so far, with the Nasdaq coming off yet another record high and closing above 11,000 for the first time. The S&P 500 also closed within 1.3% of its February record high. The Dow and S&P 500 are riding five-day winning streaks, while the Nasdaq has been up for seven straight days. The S&P 500 is also on track for its 5th positive week in 6.
The jobs report is out at 8:30 a.m. ET, with consensus forecasts expecting 1.482 million new non-farm payrolls jobs for July and the unemployment rate falling to 10.6% from June’s 11.1%.
* Markets see a lot at stake in July payrolls report Friday (CNBC)
There are no earnings reports of note out today, but Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) is set to release its quarterly numbers tomorrow morning.
Uber’s (UBER) food-delivery business soared in the second quarter, with gross bookings from Uber Eats ($6.96 billion) more than doubling gross bookings in its core ride-hailing segment ($3.05 billion) as the coronavirus pandemic persisted. Revenue of $2.24 billion exceeded Wall Street expectations but its loss of $1.02 per share was 16 cents wider than analysts projected. Shares were down more than 3% in premarket trading.
IN THE NEWS TODAY
Citing national security concerns, President Donald Trump banned U.S. transactions with two Chinese tech companies: WeChat-owner Tencent and ByteDance, which owns TikTok. Trump’s sweeping executive orders, issued late Thursday, go into effect in 45 days and may prompt retaliatory action from Beijing. The scope of the orders remains somewhat unclear, but still represent an escalation of U.S.-China tensions. Microsoft (MSFT) has said it is attempting to strike a deal to acquire the U.S. operations of TikTok, the juggernaut video-sharing social media app that has previously drawn Trump’s ire. The inclusion of Tencent and its WeChat in Trump’s action has broad implications. It is the most popular messaging app in China and is frequently used by people around the world to communicate with family and friends in the country. (CNBC)
* TikTok threatens legal action against Trump’s executive order, saying it sets a ‘dangerous precedent (CNBC)
* Trump’s ban against WeChat owner Tencent could have huge implications for U.S. companies (MarketWatch)
Democratic leaders and Trump administration officials continue to have “significant” disagreements over the next coronavirus relief bill, according to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. He made the comments after a more-than three-hour meeting Thursday with Democratic leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York. The two sides have spent days negotiating the bill as millions of Americans go without a now-expired federal unemployment supplement. “We are very far apart,” said Pelosi, the Speaker of the House. Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated there were some areas of compromise, but suggested that the overall cost of the potential bill remained a key sticking point. (Bloomberg News)
* Sen. Sanders proposes one-time tax that would cost Bezos $42.8 billion, Musk $27.5 billion (CNBC)
The Trump administration has recommended a plan that would require Chinese companies to delist from U.S. exchanges unless they comply with U.S. auditing standards by January 2020. The plan announced Thursday would need to go through the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rulemaking process before it can be implemented. The U.S. Senate in May passed a bill laying out similar oversight rules on Chinese firms, which have been criticized for being able to access U.S. capital markets without facing the same regulatory scrutiny as American competitors. Under the Trump administration’s plan, Chinese firms that want to list in the U.S. for the first time would have to adhere to U.S. auditing standards immediately. (Reuters)
* Trump says he signed order reimposing 10% aluminum tariffs on Canada (CNBC)
Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike have called on the U.S. Postal Service to undo service changes that have led to delivery delays across the country ahead of a November election that is expected to see a surge of mail-in voting due to the coronavirus. In addition to a letter from Pelosi and Schumer, separate letters Thursday from two Montana Republicans in Congress asked Louis DeJoy, the Trump-appointed postmaster general, to reverse the new policies adopted in July. The changes, which eliminated overtime pay and required mail to be held for the next day if a distribution center is running behind, were said to be done to reduce costs for the financially troubled Postal Service. (Associated Press)
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he tested negative for Covid-19 later Thursday, after earlier in the day testing positive in advance of greeting Trump in Cleveland. The Republican governor as a result did not meet the president, who was in Ohio to tout American manufacturing at a Whirlpool plant. According to the governor’s office, the second, negative test for Covid-19 was more sensitive than the rapid test DeWine took earlier in the day. The 73-year-old former U.S. Senator said he has not experienced coronavirus symptoms. He added he will take another test Saturday to confirm the negative result. (CNBC)
General Motors (GM) unveiled its all-electric Cadillac Lyriq crossover, the first to have the Detroit automaker’s next-generation batteries and EV architecture. Executives believe it can compete with anything on the market today, including vehicles from Tesla (TSLA), which dominates the U.S. electric vehicle landscape. By 2030, GM aims for most, if not all, of Cadillac cars and SUVs sold around the world to be all-electric.
* Activist shareholder ValueAct sells out of Rolls-Royce: source (Reuters)
Facebook (FB) employees can continue to work from home until July of next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Facebook is the latest tech firm to make this move, following in the footsteps of Google, which told employees last month employees can work remotely through June 2021. Facebook also intends to provide workers with an additional $1,000 bonus for their home office needs. CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously said he could see 50% of the social media giant’s workforce working remotely in the next five to 10 years. (CNBC)
* Facebook removes troll farm posing as African-American support for Donald Trump (NBC News)
* Tired of Zoom calls? Company offers at-home hologram machines (Reuters)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Booking Holdings (BKNG) lost $10.81 per share for its latest quarter, smaller than the loss of $11.50 predicted by Wall Street analysts. The parent of Priceline, Booking.com, Kayak and other travel services also saw revenue beat estimates, even as the pandemic caused a 91% drop in travel bookings from a year earlier.
TripAdvisor (TRIP) reported a quarterly loss of 76 cents per share, wider than the 63 cent loss representing the consensus analyst estimate. The travel review site operator did see revenue beat forecasts, however, and the company said travel demand trends have been improving since the April low.
T-Mobile US (TMUS) beat estimates by 2 cents with quarterly earnings of 9 cents per share, while the mobile operator’s revenue beat estimates as well. T-Mobile also said it had overtaken AT&T (T) as the No. 2 mobile carrier in the U.S. behind Verizon (VZ) after adding a greater number of subscribers than expected during the quarter.
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is buying mortgage technology platform provider Ellie Mae for $11 billion, including assumed debt. The New York Stock Exchange owner has made several mortgage-servicing acquisitions over the last few years in an effort to grow its business in that sector.
Zillow Group (ZG) reported a surprise profit and better-than-expected revenue, with the digital real estate company benefiting from a rebound in the residential property market.
Dropbox (DBX) beat estimates by 5 cents with adjusted quarterly earnings of 22 cents per share, as the file sharing service’s revenue also beat forecasts. The company did benefit from the surge in demand from employees working at home, but average revenue per user fell from a year earlier. Separately, the company announced the resignation of Chief Financial Officer Ajay Vashee.
More than 60 NFL players have opted out of the upcoming season due to coronavirus concerns. If approved, players who opted out and have a higher risk for severe illness from Covid-19 will receive a $350,000 stipend and their contract will be paused. Other players who opted out but are not considered high risk will get a $150,000 “salary advance” that will have to be paid back. (CNBC)
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