Here are five things you must know for Friday, Dec. 4:
1. — Stock Futures Rise Ahead of U.S. Jobs Data
Stock futures traded higher Friday ahead of key labor market data and as chances have increased Congress could reach a stimulus agreement by the end of 2020.
Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 114 points, S&P 500 futures gained 9 points and Nasdaq futures were up 38 points.
Official U.S. payrolls data for November will be released later Friday and it’s expected to show that jobs growth has slowed amid a resurgence of the coronavirus. The U.S. on Wednesday recorded a one-day record of 3,157 deaths from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
As for a coronavirus relief package, senior Republicans have warmed to the idea of using a $908 billion proposal from a bipartisan group of lawmakers as a basis for a deal, Bloomberg reported. The proposal has been endorsed by Democratic leaders but hasn’t been publicly supported by GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Stocks finished mostly higher Thursday but pared gains late in the session after The Wall Street Journal reported Pfizer (PFE) – Get Report expects to ship half of the Covid-19 vaccines it originally planned for this year because of supply-chain problems. The drugmaker, however, said it still expects to roll out more than a billion doses in 2021.
Asian stocks closed Friday’s session mostly higher while European equities posted gains.
For more on Asian markets read:
2. — Friday’s Calendar: Jobs Report for November
The economic calendar Friday includes the official U.S. jobs report for November at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists surveyed by FactSet expect the U.S. to have added 450,000 jobs in November, down from 638,000 the previous month. The unemployment rate is expected to tick lower to 6.8% from 6.9%.
The calendar also includes International Trade in Goods and Services for October at 8:30 a.m. and Factory Orders for October at 10 a.m.
3. — Google AI Scientist Says She Was Fired Over Critical Email
Computer scientist Timnit Gebru, artificial-intelligence researcher, said Alphabet’s (GOOGL) – Get Report Google fired her after she refused to retract a research paper and complained about management in emails to fellow employees.
Gebru, who is Black and who served as the co-head of Google’s Ethical Artificial Intelligence team, said her departure appears to have been precipitated by her email, which was sent last week to a wide group inside the company. The email, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, began with “Hi friends,” and then proceeded to criticize her superiors.
Google executives squelched her research, she wrote, and ignored her feedback on issues like the proportion of female employees in the company, the Journal reported.
Gebru’s firing led to criticism of Google’s AI division, which is led by lauded software engineer Jeff Dean.
“The termination is an act of retaliation against Dr. Gebru, and it heralds danger for people working for ethical and just AI – especially Black people and People of Color – across Google,” wrote a group of hundreds of academics and researchers, many of them Google employees.
Dean and Google representatives didn’t respond to requests for comment, but in an email to colleagues Thursday that was seen by Bloomberg, Dean defended his handling of the matter.
4. — Marvell Technology Slides After Hinting at Supply Challenges
Marvell Technology (MRVL) – Get Report declined more than 5% in premarket trading Friday after its outlook for its fiscal fourth quarter came in below Wall Street expectations and the chipmaker hinted at supply challenges.
The company posted adjusted earnings in the third quarter of 25 cents a share on revenue of $750.1 million, up from $662.4 million a year earlier. Analysts had forecast earnings of 25 cents a share on revenue of $751 million.
Marvell said it expects adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter of 25 cents to 33 cents a share on revenue of $745.8 million to $824.3 million. Wall Street expects earnings of 29 cents a share on revenue of $787.6 million.
“Strong 5G and Cloud product ramps are fueling our ongoing success in these strategic growth markets,” said Matt Murphy, Marvell president and CEO.
He added, “Our team is working to mitigate the impact of industry-wide supply constraints that are currently limiting our ability to fully satisfy the increase in demand.”
Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Marvell in its portfolio, said it wanted to remain long the stock “because Marvell is still in the early innings of a multi-year growth catalyst related to 5G deployment worldwide.”
5. — Warner Bros. 2021 Film Slate to Stream on HBO Max Immediately
The strategy covers all 17 movies scheduled for release by the studio next year, The Wall Street Journal noted, including big-budget films such as “Dune” and a new installment in the “Matrix” franchise.
HBO Max subscribers will get an exclusive one-month access period for new releases. Once the month is over, the films will finish their theatrical runs.
“No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do,” said WarnerMedia Studios CEO Ann Sarnoff in a statement.
“We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021.”
Shares of theater operators such as Cinemark (CNK) – Get Report and AMC Entertainment (AMC) – Get Report plunged Thursday following the announcement from Warner Bros. but were rebounding early Friday.