Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
It’s jobs day in America. Economists estimate that the Bureau of Labour Statistics’ data would show the US economy added 200,000 jobs in November, according to Bloomberg. They expect the unemployment rate held steady at a seven-year low of 5%, and that average hourly earnings rose 0.2% month-on-month. This week, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen acknowledged progress in the labour market while laying out the case for an interest-rate hike sooner rather than later. A jobs report that doesn’t fall far short of forecasts would cement the prospects of a rate rise in two weeks, and shift focus squarely on the pace of rate hikes.
OPEC’s policy meeting in Vienna is underway. The 12-member oil cartel is divided over where to set its production limits, amid a glut in oil supply that is keeping prices down. The Wall Street Journal reported, citing an internal OPEC document, that member countries think oil prices would remain low even if they cut production. Crude oil prices were higher on Friday morning, with Brent crude, the international benchmark, up 1% and near $44.34 per barrel.
The European Central Bank announced extra policy stimulus measures that fell short of expectations. The ECB cut its deposit rate for banks to -0.3% from -0.2%, and president Mario Draghi said the quantitative-easing program of buying 60 billion euros a month in bonds would continue until at least March 2017. The ECB’s announcements sent global markets into turmoil, with the Dow falling 252 points, or 1.42%, treasuries selling off, and major European indexes closing lower.
Uber is raising another $2 billion at a $62.5 billion valuation. Tiger Global Management and T.Rowe Price closed their investments in the ride-hailing company’s latest funding round, as it looks for other investors. Uber closed a $1 billion fundraising round in July, bringing its valuation to $52 billion according to PitchBook.
Univision suspended its IPO. The Spanish-language broadcaster is wary of the recent tumble in media stocks, The Journal reported, following a board meeting on Thursday.
Avon is close to finally selling its North American business. After struggling to shed off the struggling unit, the company is in advanced talks with Cereberus Capital Management. A deal has not been finalised, but could happen this month. Shares were up 6% pre-market.
Sears suffered a quarterly loss. The retailer and owner of Kmart reported a third-quarter loss of $454 million, as comparable sales fell 9.6%. Executives said warmer weather dampened sales of winter clothing, even as some analysts say the company’s end might be near.
Norfolk Southern rejected the unsolicited buyout offer from Canadian Pacific. In a statement on Friday, the company said “the indication of interest was grossly inadequate”, created regulatory risks, and was not in its shareholders’ best interest.
The company that helped expose allegations about Valeant’s business has new ones about Insys Therapeutics. The Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation released a report Thursday called “Murder Incorporated: Insys Therapeutics, Part I”. It alleges that Insys used its prior-authorization unit to mislead insurers into covering its Fentanyl-based painkiller by modifying documents to say cancer caused patients’ pain. Shares closed down 18% on Thursday.
Global markets are still mostly red. Following yesterday’s sell-off, major European indexes are still lower, with the Euro Stoxx 50 down 1% near 7:13 a.m. ET. Dow futures were up 46 points. The US 10-year yield was down one basis point at 2.317%.
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