Morning Brief

Stocks poised to slip as Wall Street anticipates jobs report

Key Points


The recent momentum for U.S. stocks continues to fade somewhat, following Thursday's mixed session — which did, however, see a new closing high for the Dow. Stock futures were pointing to modest losses at today's open. (CNBC)

The Dow was poised to post its fourth straight weekly gain. But the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are on track to break a three-week win streak, with the Nasdaq down nearly 2.8 percent for the week. (CNBC)

The focus of investors this morning will be on the November jobs report, out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Forecasts call for 180,000 new nonfarm jobs for November, with the unemployment rate remaining at October's 4.9 percent rate. (CNBC)

U.S. crude oil prices was holding above $50 per barrel, despite this morning's decline as as optimism about the deal between OPEC and non-OPEC member Russia to cut production gave way to concerns about compliance. (Reuters)

Starbucks (SBUX) shares were down over 3 percent in premarket trading, following news Howard Schultz will stepping down as CEO to lead an effort at the company to build high-end coffee shops. COO Kevin Johnson will become the next chief executive. (CNBC)

Trump chose retired Marine General James "Mad Dog" Mattis to lead the Department of Defense, a sign the incoming administration is looking to take a tougher stance with nations like Iran. (NBC News)

Trump is said to be considering Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp to head either the Interior or Energy departments. The president-elect is reportedly also considering Democratic Joe Manchin and Goldman Sachs (GS) COO Gary Cohn for Energy secretary. (Reuters)

Tempers flared and political fault-lines were inflamed, as top aides to Trump and Hillary Clinton gathered for their first meeting since Election Day. (AP)

Trump may have to give up one property on Pennsylvania Avenue if he wants to move into another down the street. Fine print could force Trump to unload his equity stake in the hotel just down the street from the White House. (AP)

Chinese President Xi Jinping told former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissenger today that China was watching U.S. politics "very closely" following the presidential election won by Republican Donald Trump. (Reuters)

American Airlines Group (AAL) is cutting 25 percent of its scheduled flights to Cuba for 2017 — in a move based on travel demand, rather than the election of Republican Donald Trump as U.S. president. (Fortune)

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and its DePuy Orthopaedics unit plan to appeal a jury decision that they must pay more than $1 billion to six plaintiffs who claimed to be injured by the unit's hip implants. (Reuters)

Twitter Inc (TWTR) appointed Keith Coleman, founder of start-up Yes Inc., as head of its product team, the third executive to lead the division in less than a year. Twitter also said it acquired Yes, the maker of apps such as Frenzy and WYD-What you doing. (Reuters)


With two Fed officials speaking this afternoon, most investors now regard a December interest rate hike as a foregone conclusion regardless of what this morning's jobs numbers show. Fed Governors Daniel Tarullo and Lael Brainard both speak around 12:30 p.m. ET.

The earnings calendar is extremely thin today, with retailer Big Lots (BIG) and shoe retailer Genesco (GCO) among the few on this morning's schedule, with no companies of note after today's closing bell.


Smith & Wesson (SWHC) beat estimates by 12 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 68 cents per share, with the gun maker's revenue also beating forecasts. However, the company did give weaker than expected current quarter guidance.

Ulta Salon Cosmetics (ULTA) reported quarterly profit of $1.40 per share, 3 cents above estimates, with revenue also above forecasts. Ulta also provided an upbeat current quarter outlook, as it sees continuing momentum in revenue growth and same-store sales.

Gap (GPS) said November comparable store sales fell 1 percent, hurt by general sales weakness as well as a recent warehouse fire. However, the apparel retailer did say it saw improving trends during the second half of the month.

Workday (WDAY) reported an adjusted quarterly profit of 3 cents per share, compared to consensus forecasts for a 4 cent per share loss. The maker of human resources software also saw revenue come in above estimates on rising subscription sales.

Five Below (FIVE) reported quarterly profit of 10 cents per share, beating estimates by a penny, although the discount retailer's revenue and comparable store sales came up short of analyst forecasts. The company said it's pleased with the start of the holiday shopping season.

G-III Apparel (GIII) fell short on both the top and bottom lines for its latest quarter, and also lowered its full year forecast. The maker of apparel brands such as Donna Karan, Bass, Calvin Klein and Kenneth Cole said conditions in the industry remain challenging.


Facebook (FB) is testing warning labels designed to steer users away from fake news stories on their News Feed, the social media giant's most concerted effort thus far to target misinformation on its site. Only a small group of users will be tested. (USA Today)

The Rolling Stones dropped "Blue & Lonesome" today, their first studio album in 11 years. The blues album, which features Eric Clapton on two songs, was recorded live in a London studio in just three days. (USA Today)