U.S. stock futures were higher Friday morning and gained more ground after the government's October employment report showed better-than-expected job growth. Dow stocks Exxon Mobil and Chevron reported earnings Friday morning. Exxon beat estimates with profit and revenue. Chevron missed on both. Thursday's losses on Wall Street ended an otherwise positive October, which has historically been the most volatile month of the year for stocks. The S&P 500, up 2%, and the Nasdaq, up nearly 3.7%, saw their best monthly gains since June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was laggard last month, edging higher by just a half percent.
The Labor Department announced Friday morning that the U.S. economy created 128,000 nonfarm payrolls in October, despite a drag from the General Motors strike. The nation's unemployment rate edged up a bit to 3.6%, but remained near 50-year lows. However, October ISM data on the contracting manufacturing sector, out at 10 a.m. ET, could provide a much more useful picture of the economy. Investors are looking to these reports for more clues on the economy as they try to figure out if this week's interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve, the third such move this year, will be the last for a while.
Leon Cooperman sent a critical letter to Elizabeth Warren, one of the top Democratic presidential candidates, marking the latest salvo in the war of words between the billionaire investor and the liberal senator who wants to tax the wealthy to pay for a broad social agenda. "You proceeded to admonish me (as if a parent chiding an ungrateful child) to 'pitch in a bit more so everyone else has a chance at the American dream,'" Cooperman wrote. Warren responded to Cooperman's letter in a tweet, saying: "Leon is wrong," adding he "can and should pitch in more." Separately, on Friday morning, Warren pledged not to raise middle class taxes to fund her "Medicare for All" plan.
China turned on its 5G networks ahead of schedule on Friday, pushing ahead with the next-generation wireless technology at the same time it's engaged in a protracted trade war with Washington. The U.S.-China trade dispute has also turned into a battle over tech supremacy, with the Trump administration pressuring Huawei, citing national security concerns about Beijing using the Chinese telecom firm's equipment to spy. Huawei has repeatedly said that would never happen.
Apple TV+ launches Friday, with just a handful of original programs and a lack of old shows and franchise films. The latest entrant to the video streaming wars costs $4.99 per month for usage by up to six family members. Apple TV+ is free for a year for buyers of new Apple devices such as an iPhone or an iPad. Among the competition — aside from established services from Netflix, Amazon and Hulu — Disney Plus launches Nov. 12 and AT&T's HBO Max is out in May 2020.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.