U.S. stock futures continued higher after the government announced Friday morning that November job growth was much stronger than expected. Also adding to the bullish sentiment, China on Friday said it will waive import tariffs for some soybeans and pork shipments from the U.S., as Beijing and Washington try to cement a "phase one" trade deal before the next round of American tariffs on Chinese goods take effect on Dec. 15. President Donald Trump struck an upbeat tone on progress in trade talks on Thursday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average logged its second straight positive session. However, for the week, the Dow was still down 1.3% ahead of Friday's trading and off nearly 1.8% from last week's record highs.
The U.S. economy created 266,000 nonfarm jobs in November, according to the Labor Department's monthly report released one hour before Wall Street's 9:30 a.m. ET open. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected job growth of 187,000 positions. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% last month. Expectations had called for the jobless rate to hold steady at 3.6%. The GM strike ending had a big effect, boosting employment in motor vehicles and parts by 41,300, part of an overall 54,000 gain in manufacturing.
Energy ministers from some of the world's largest oil producers will attempt to ratify a deeper round of output cuts on Friday. OPEC and non-OPEC partners, referred to as OPEC+, have gathered in Vienna, Austria to decide the next phase of their oil production policy. Led by Saudi Arabia, the 14-member group agreed in principle Thursday to cut production by an additional 500,000 barrels per day through to the end of March 2020, according to CNBC sources. This level of output curbs, aimed at supporting crude prices, is much larger than many had expected.
Uber released a report acknowledging 5,981 reports of sexual abuse between riders and drivers on the service between 2017 and 2018. The numbers come from the ride-hailing company's first U.S. Safety Report, which it plans to issue every two years in an effort aimed at showing its focus on rider safety. Uber said there were more than 3,000 sex assaults last year alone. The ride-hailing company and peers including Lyft have been criticized over sexual assault problems for years. The Uber report also details new features and practices the company is trying to prevent assaults.
The House Judiciary Committee plans to hold a hearing Monday on the evidence gathered in the Trump impeachment inquiry. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday, "The president's actions have seriously violated the Constitution." She added, "The president leaves us no choice but to act." The Judiciary panel will be responsible for drafting the specific impeachment articles. House Democrats have been investigating whether Trump abused his power by withholding military aid from Ukraine while asking that country to probe political rival Joe Biden. In response, Trump tweeted that "Republicans have NEVER been more united." If the House were to impeach the president, the GOP-controlled Senate would hold the trial.