For the first day in what feels like some time, trade headlines took a back seat to domestic economic data. The major indexes all gained about 1% following a blowout jobs report that beat the highest of estimates as the unemployment rate fell back to its 50-year low.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., non-farm payrolls surged 266,000 in November, sharply beating expectations. The unemployment rate slipped back to 3.5% and average hourly earnings rose 0.2% month-over-month and 3.1% year-over-year in November. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index jumped 2.4 points to 99.2 in the preliminary December print, which also beat expectations. Wholesale inventories edged up 0.1%, while sales fell 0.7% in October. Consumer credit surged a solid $18.9B in October, nearly double the revised $9.6B gain seen in September. In energy news, Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. rig count is down 3 rigs from last week to 799.
TOP NEWS: Uber (UBER) released a safety report with data related to reports of the "most critical safety incidents" on its platform, calling it "the first comprehensive publication of its kind to be issued by a company." Within the report, Uber said that "fatal physical assault" was reported to occur in about 1 in every 122M U.S. trips in 2017 and 2018. In terms of sexual assault data, the company reported that in 2017 and 2018 combined, "non-consensual touching of a sexual body part" was reported to occur in about 1 in every 800,000 trips and "non-consensual kissing of a sexual body part" was reported to occur in 1 in every 3M completed U.S. trips. Overall, the company claimed in the report that the "vast majority," or 99.9%, of Uber trips end without any safety-related issue. Following the release of the report, Reuters reported that U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said that Uber must do more "to establish formal policies, training and reporting structures" in an effort to improve in such figures.
Shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) rose 6% after the company disclosed this morning that it had "recently engaged in good faith with Elliott Advisors Limited, an affiliate of Elliott Management." The activist investing firm recommended that the drugmaker "immediately launch a proactive sale process," but Alexion said its board of directors had "unanimously decided that conducting a proactive sale process would not be in the best interest of shareholders and the patients we serve at this time."
Meanwhile, 3M (MMM) shares gained 4% after Bloomberg reported that the company is exploring a sale of its drug delivery systems business, which could draw roughly $1B in a deal. The unit will likely draw interest from private equity firms, according to Bloomberg.
Additionally, Axios reported that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected an application by the New York Stock Exchange (ICE) to allow companies to raise capital during direct listings.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Trade Desk (TTD), which rose 3% after Needham analyst Laura Martin upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold with a $325 price target. Also higher were Big Lots (BIG) and Ulta Beauty (ULTA), which gained a respective 31% and 11% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Ciena (CIEN), which slid 3.5% after UBS analyst Tejas Venkatesh downgraded shares to Sell from Neutral with a price target of $31, down from $43. Also lower were PagerDuty (PD), Yext (YEXT), and Zoom Video (ZM), which fell 13%, 14%, and 10%, respectively, after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 337.27, or 1.22%, to 28,015.06
, the Nasdaq gained 85.83, or 1.00%, to 8,656.53
, and the S&P 500 advanced 28.48, or 0.91%, to 3,145.91
Keywords: fly intel, wall street, top stories, stocks