U.S. index futures showed minimal changes in the pre-market this Friday, as investors maintained a cautious stance while awaiting the release of a crucial report on employment in the U.S.

As of 06:01 AM, Dow Jones futures (DOWI:DJI) rose by 28 points, or 0.08%. S&P 500 futures increased by 0.06%, and Nasdaq-100 futures fell by 0.02%. The yield rate of 10-year Treasury bonds was at 4.182%.

In the commodities market, January’s West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose by 1.66%, to $70.49 per barrel. Brent crude oil for February increased by 1.74%, reaching around $75.34 per barrel. Iron ore with a concentration of 62%, traded on the Dalian exchange, rose by 2.39%, to $135.34 per ton.

On this Friday’s economic agenda, investors are following the 08:30 AM release of the number of jobs created or lost in the economy (payroll) and the unemployment rate for November. At 10:00 AM, the preliminary reading of the December Michigan/Reuters consumer sentiment index is expected. At 13:00 PM, the Baker Hughes Rig Count will be announced.

European markets are on the rise, primarily driven by the luxury and energy sectors. This trend is a response to the recent reduction in German inflation and the anticipation of an important report on employment in the United States, which may confirm predictions of a peak in global interest rates.

Meanwhile, Asian stock markets showed mixed performance. In Shanghai, there was a slight increase, but in Tokyo, the market fell by more than 1.5%, influenced by the strengthening of the yen, which negatively affected Japanese exporters. There are also speculations about possible adjustments in the monetary policy of the Bank of Japan.

The Shanghai SE index in China closed with a modest increase of 0.11%, while Tokyo’s Nikkei index suffered a drop of 1.68%, hampered by the strength of the yen and the downward revision of Japan’s economic growth in the third quarter. Among the most affected stocks were Toyota Industries, Toyota Tsusho, and Ajinomoto. Other important indices also showed variations, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index falling by 0.07%, South Korea’s Kospi rising by 1.03%, and Australia’s ASX 200 increasing by 0.30%.

U.S. stocks performed solidly on Thursday, with the Nasdaq leading the recovery after an earlier dip. The Dow Jones rose 0.17% to 36,117.38 points, the S&P 500 gained 0.80% to 4,585.59 points, and the Nasdaq increased by 1.37% to 14,339.99 points. Optimism about interest rates and the job report boosted the market. Semiconductor and airline sectors stood out, while gold and oil stocks saw declines.

For corporate earnings on Friday, investors will be looking at reports from Hello Group (NASDAQ:MOMO) and Johnson Outdoors (NASDAQ:JOUT).

Wall Street corporate highlights for today

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) – Apple is shifting product development resources to Vietnam in partnership with China’s iPad maker BYD. This marks Apple’s first move into Vietnam for a major device, with a planned release for the second half of next year. In India, Apple and its suppliers intend to produce over 50 million iPhones annually over the next two to three years, with plans to manufacture tens of millions more units after that period, as reported by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. Regarding data breaches in the U.S., Apple revealed in a study that cases have increased by 20% in the first nine months of 2023 compared to 2022.

Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) – The chip manufacturer reported fiscal fourth-quarter financial results that fell short of expectations. The company recorded revenues of $9.3 billion, while analysts had forecast $9.41 billion, according to LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv. Furthermore, Broadcom issued conservative projections, anticipating annual revenue of $50 billion, in contrast to analysts’ expectations of $52.2 billion.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (NYSE:TSM) – TSMC reported a 7.5% drop in revenue for November, totaling NT$206 billion ($6.6 billion). For the first 11 months combined, revenue fell 4.1% year-over-year. Despite expectations of a rebound, uncertainties around China and the slowing economy continue to affect the global chip market.

Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) – Micron Technology has signed a union agreement for the construction of a $15 billion chip factory in Boise, Idaho. This agreement could give the company an edge in competing for federal funds under the Chips Act. The Commerce Department has expressed a preference for applicants with unionized construction agreements. Micron is also investing up to $100 billion in New York State over the next two decades, following the same union agreement model.

DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU) – Shares of DocuSign fell 0.9% following the release of the electronic signature tool provider’s third-quarter results. The company reported an adjusted earnings per share that beat analysts’ estimates by 16 cents, according to LSEG. Revenue reached $700 million, slightly above the $690 million analysts had expected. Additionally, the company issued revenue outlook for the fourth quarter in the range of $696 million to $700 million, slightly above the $694 million forecast by analysts, as reported by LSEG.

HashiCorp (NASDAQ:HCP) – Shares of the software company fell 20.9% in Friday’s pre-market trading after quarterly results were announced. HashiCorp reported an adjusted earnings of 3 cents per share in the third quarter, generating revenue of $146 million. This surpassed analysts’ expectations, who had predicted a loss of 4 cents per share with revenue of $143 million.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) – Starting mid-January, the Venmo payment option will no longer be available on Amazon.com. Amazon introduced this option last year, allowing users to add their Venmo accounts to their Amazon profiles. However, the option will be deactivated on January 10. Customers will still be able to use other payment methods, such as debit and credit cards.

UPS (NYSE:UPS) – The Teamsters union, representing UPS workers in the U.S., plans to respond to the firing of 35 newly unionized employees with charges of unfair labor practices and a possible strike. UPS claims staff adjustments, denying unfair practices. The union threatens a strike if there’s no resolution. The contract with UPS remains intact.

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) – FedEx issued a security alert to its contractors, emphasizing the importance of driver safety and vehicle vigilance during the delivery season, due to an increase in illegal activities. The alert included safety tips and highlighted concerns about thefts and robberies reported on social media and TV.

Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) – The sportswear company presented a lower-than-expected sales forecast for the holiday period. Reported revenue reached $2.2 billion, which was in line with estimates, at $2.19 billion, according to LSEG.

Levi Strauss (NYSE:LEVI) – Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh will step down in January, passing responsibilities to his successor, Michelle Gass. The power transition is scheduled for January 29, while Bergh’s official retirement is on April 26. Until then, he will continue as executive vice chairman of the board and serve as an advisor until the end of the fiscal year.

RH (NYSE:RH) – The home furnishings retailer reported quarterly revenue of $751 million, which fell below analysts’ expectations of $757 million, according to LSEG. Additionally, the company revised its revenue projections downward, now forecasting a range between $3.06 billion and $3.08 billion, while analysts were expecting $3.08 billion.

McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) – McDonald’s will launch the concept store “CosMc’s,” centered on cold beverages, starting in Bolingbrook, Illinois, with about 10 pilot stores planned mainly in Texas by the end of 2024. McDonald’s will evaluate the results for a year, also testing new service and payment options. In other news, the SDA union in Australia is suing McDonald’s local unit, alleging the chain underpaid about 25,000 managers and supervisors over six years, seeking $66.13 million in back pay. McDonald’s will respond to the allegations at the appropriate time.

UBS (NYSE:UBS) – UBS officially initiated the merger process with Credit Suisse, marking a significant step in the first merger of two globally systemic important banks. The merger, subject to regulatory approvals, is scheduled to occur in 2024, ending Credit Suisse’s independence. UBS anticipates synergies in 2025-2026.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) – JP Morgan Wealth Management created a new Midwest U.S. regional division, led by Beth Brown, to enhance financial advisory services in bank branches. The reorganization aims to expand wealth management for retail clients, boosting resources for financial advisors. The firm now has four branch-based advisor divisions, part of its efforts to invest in and support its financial advisors.

Blackstone (NYSE:BX) – Blackstone and Digital Realty will establish a joint venture to invest $7 billion in developing 10 data centers in Frankfurt, Paris, and Northern Virginia. Blackstone will acquire 80% of the joint venture for about $700 million, while Digital Realty will retain 20%. The joint venture’s completion is anticipated for the first half of 2024. Demand for data centers remains strong as more companies move to the cloud.

HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) – HSBC in Hong Kong is expanding its parental leave, extending maternity leave from 16 to 20 weeks and leave for new fathers or secondary caregivers from 10 to 40 days, starting January 1. The move aims to meet employees’ needs for more flexibility in caring for their families.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) – Tesla lost a legal battle with the Swedish postal service, with Nordic unions strengthening their opposition. A Swedish court ruled that PostNord does not need to deliver plates to Tesla for the time being. The company faces increasing pressure in the region due to its refusal to negotiate collectively with IF Metall. In other news, Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin showcased industrial areas to Tesla executives seeking investments. Thailand aims to convert a third of its annual vehicle production to electric by 2030, with subsidies and tax breaks to attract manufacturers.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) – General Motors and Autocar Industries are collaborating to develop heavy-duty vehicles powered by GM’s hydrogen fuel cells. The first zero-emission vehicles are expected in 2026, covering various applications such as dump trucks and road maintenance vehicles. Hydrogen is a practical alternative for heavy-duty vehicles due to its longer range and faster refueling times. Additionally, GM, under the leadership of Mary Barra, is revoking its remote work policy, requiring employees to return to the office three days a week starting in January 2024. The move aims to meet business needs and maintain corporate culture.

Stellantis (NYSE:STLA) – Stellantis is cutting jobs at Jeep factories in the U.S. due to California’s emission regulations. The layoffs will affect Detroit and Toledo plants starting February 5. Additionally, Stellantis plans to incorporate swappable battery technology into its electric vehicle fleet in partnership with Ample. EV owners will be able to swap depleted batteries for charged ones in minutes at Ample stations, starting in Spain in 2024 with 100 Fiat 500e models.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) – Boeing plans to increase its 737 jet production to 42 per month by February 2024, two months later than originally planned, due to supply chain issues and delays caused by a supplier error. The pre-pandemic goal of 57.7 aircraft per month will be achieved by October 2025. Additionally, Boeing is in advanced negotiations to sell about 80 787 Dreamliner jets to Thai Airways, outpacing Airbus in a contest for the Thai airline’s fleet renewal. Financial details were not disclosed.

American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) – American Airlines appealed to a U.S. appeals court to overturn a decision that found its partnership with JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) anti-competitive. American Airlines argues that the ruling threatens other collaborations between competitors.

Palantir Technologies (NYSE:PLTR) – Palantir Technologies is offering immediate jobs to 180 students feeling insecure due to rising anti-Semitism on university campuses. This initiative comes after university leaders faced criticism for inadequate responses to hostility against Jewish students.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) – CATL, the Chinese battery giant, responded to Duke Energy in the U.S., stating that security threat allegations are false. CATL assures it does not collect, sell, or share data in the U.S. and its products have undergone rigorous security assessments. Duke Energy disconnected CATL batteries due to concerns over its ties with the Chinese Communist Party.

Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) – Canadian Solar will provide 500 MW of battery storage technology for the Coalburn 1 project in the UK, in partnership with Copenhagen Infrastructure. The project will support grid stability during peak consumption times.

ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT) – ArcelorMittal sold its steel and mining operation in Temirtau to Kazakhstan’s state investment fund for $286 million, including $700 million in intragroup debt payment. The sale will negatively impact the company’s equity by about $800 million.

Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), EchoStar (NASDAQ:SATS) – The FCC approved the merger between Dish Network and satellite operator EchoStar, consolidating Charlie Ergen’s telecommunications empire. This merger aims to compete with major U.S. carriers.

Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) – Take-Two faced a downgrade amid uncertainty over the release of Grand Theft Auto VI. An analyst from BofA Securities downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral due to Rockstar Games’ history of delays.

DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) – DraftKings is facing a class action alleging deceptive advertising of a $1,000 bet bonus offer. The Public Health Advocacy Institute claims the qualification terms are too burdensome, misleading customers about obtaining the bonus.

Flutter Entertainment – Gambling group Flutter Entertainment plans to list its ordinary shares on the New York Stock Exchange on January 29, simultaneously canceling its secondary listing in Dublin. Flutter will be removed from the EUROSTOXX index starting December 18.

Bain Capital (NYSE:BCSF) – Bain Capital is set to gain over ten times its investment in Cerevel Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CERE) following the sale of the company to AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) for $8.7 billion. Bain’s 36.5% stake in Cerevel is now worth approximately $2.7 billion.

AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) – AbbVie plans to focus on smaller deals after its recent multi-billion dollar acquisitions of Cerevel Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CERE) and ImmunoGen (NASDAQ:IMGN). The company expects to return to robust growth by 2025 and is confident the FTC will approve the deal.

Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE:FMS) – Fresenius Medical Care revealed that data, including medical records of 500,000 patients and former patients, was stolen from its U.S. subsidiary’s data warehouse. The incident affected patients, former patients, guarantors, and employees across various locations in the U.S. and four countries.

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