- Stocks close a rock August.
- Investors await the monthly jobs report.
- Federal marijuana changes could be coming.
Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
Stock futures were higher Friday after closing out a tumultuous August. Despite a recent string of positive sessions that helped stock indexes trim their monthly losses, the S&P 500 lost 1.77%, while the Nasdaq shed 2.17% in August. The 30-stock Dow dropped 2.36% for the month. Friday saw some positives as shares of Dell Technologies and database software maker MongoDB rose 9% and 6%, respectively in extended trading after releasing stronger-than-expected earnings reports. Athletic apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica‘s stock added 2% after crushing Wall Street’s estimates and raising its guidance. Follow live market updates.
A help wanted sign on a storefront in Ocean City, New Jersey, US, on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. Surveys suggest that despite cooling inflation and jobs gains, Americans remain deeply skeptical of the president’s handling of the post-pandemic economy. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Check your calendar: It’s the first Friday of the month, which means investors are waiting for jobs data from the Department of Labor. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect that the U.S. economy added 170,000 jobs in August, a slight slowdown from the 187,000 created in July. Meanwhile, average hourly wages are expected to rise 0.3% month over month, down from a gain of 0.4% in July. The report could provide clues on what the Federal Reserve will do at its September meeting. According to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool, traders are pricing in a less than 15% chance of a rate hike this month. However, a hotter-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report could increase those odds.
A pharmacist displays boxes of Ozempic, a semaglutide injection drug used for treating type 2 diabetes made by Novo Nordisk, at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, U.S. March 29, 2023.
George Frey | Reuters
Ozempic could be on the list for the next round of price negotiations between manufacturers and Medicare in 2025. Medicare Part D already spent more than $2 billion on the blockbuster diabetes treatment from Novo Nordisk in 2021. That amount is close to some of the first 10 drugs chosen by the Biden administration for price negotiations this week. The negotiations are a bid to lower medicine costs. Several Wall Street analysts think Medicare’s spending on Ozempic will only grow, given the strong demand for it and other treatments that can help patients shed unwanted pounds.
A customer displays a bag of “flower”, or marijuana bud, that she purchased at an unlicensed cannabis dispensary in unincorporated Los Angeles County, just east of the Los Angeles city boundary, on December 21, 2022.
Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images
U.S. health officials want to loosen marijuana restrictions, which could be a significant boost for an industry that regularly has to deal with federal regulations. The Department of Health and Human Services asked the Drug Enforcement Agency this week to consider easing restrictions on marijuana, which is a Schedule I drug, the highest level. Pot stocks, including Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth and Tilray Brands, rose Wednesday and Thursday on the news. Reclassifying it down to a Schedule III drug would ease tax burdens that have hindered many cultivators, processors and retailers struggling to remain profitable, and also allow for interstate commerce.
Taylor Swift performs onstage for the opening night of “Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour” at State Farm Stadium.
Kevin Mazur | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
Look what she made them do. Taylor Swift announced Thursday she’s releasing a concert film version of her megahit Eras Tour. The movie’s opening day — Friday, Oct. 13 — was supposed to be the same as the next installment of the horror franchise film “The Exorcist,” setting up the potential for another double feature phenomenon, a la “Barbenheimer.” But later Thursday, distributor Universal announced it would bump the “Exorcist” movie’s opening day up a week, to Friday, Oct. 6. It’s hard to ignore Swift’s economic power. Morgan Stanley said third-quarter real spending is expected to come in 1.9% higher — helped in part by stadium tours from Swift and Beyoncé, as well as the success of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” — yet, warned the consumer spending might not last when those events end. (Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC).
— CNBC’s Pia Singh, Fred Imbert, Annika Kim Constantino, Lillian Rizzo, Sarah Whitten and Alex Harring contributed to this report.
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Read More: 5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday, September 1