Settling slightly in the green on Thursday, U.S. stock index futures advanced by 0.4% overnight, ahead of the eagerly-anticipated jobs report. Market focus is additionally attuned to global trade developments, following an upbeat tone from President Trump. Adding to the positive sentiment, China’s finance ministry said on Friday it will waive import tariffs for some soybeans and pork shipments from the U.S. as the two sides aim to conclude a Phase One trade deal.
Uber (NYSE:UBER) reported 3,045 sexual assaults across rides in 2018, as well as nine murders and 58 people killed in crashes. While the number of incidents represents a fraction – just 0.0002% – of Uber’s 1.3B rides in the U.S. last year, Chief Legal Officer Tony West said, “each of those incidents represents an individual who has undergone a horrific trauma.” Riders (not drivers) were also the accused party in 45% of the reports filed, and the incidents mark a 16% fall from the previous year in the five most serious categories of sexual assault. What’s Uber doing about it? Making driver background checks more rigorous, adding an “In-App Emergency Button,” and employing more than 300 employees “dedicated to safety.”
Go deeper: Value Growth Master feels Uber’s fall from glory is not over.
5G doesn’t pose new cellphone radiation threats, according to the FCC, which spent six years reviewing the issue and receiving public feedback. The regulator voted unanimously this week to keep in place standards for how much exposure to the radio-frequency energy cellphones and antennas emit is safe. The rules cover consumer devices, and the 5G infrastructure used on cell towers and rooftops, as the four major U.S. wireless carriers race to roll out the next-generation of wireless networks.
Go deeper: ‘U.S. Infrastructure Spending May Lead To Compelling Investment Opportunities’ by Invesco.
Saudi Aramco (ARMCO) has priced its IPO at 32 riyals, the top of its indicative range of 30-32 riyals per share, valuing the company at $1.7T. With 1.5% of the oil giant being floated, the price puts Aramco on track to raise $25.6B, marking the IPO the largest in history (the company could also wind up hauling in $29.4B if a 15% greenshoe option is exercised). Trading is expected to commence on the Saudi Tadawul stock exchange starting December 11.
Cohesion among the group is in the spotlight as OPEC canceled its customary press conference yesterday following an acrimonious meeting in Vienna that ran late into the evening. Led by Saudi Arabia, the alliance agreed in principle to cut production by an additional 500K barrels per day through the end of March 2020, according to sources from CNBC and Reuters. But the group must still convince a faction of its non-OPEC allies, including Russia, in a bid to prop up oil prices. Crude futures flat at $58.41/bbl.
Go deeper: Robert Boslego discusses the pricing of Aramco and OPEC’s decision.
Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY) is poised to beat Boeing (NYSE:BA) after booking orders for 222 aircraft in November, driven mainly by the Dubai Airshow. The French planemaker sold a total of 940 jets during January-November, or 718 after cancellations, leaving it well ahead of Boeing, which sold 180 jets in the first nine months of the year, or 45 after cancellations. Not only is the 737 MAX crisis weighing on orders, but additional regulatory requirements or delays could cause Boeing to cut or temporarily halt production of the aircraft.
Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model 3 has been included on a list of vehicles eligible for subsidies published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. That means buyers will get a subsidy of as much as about 25,000 yuan ($3,550) from the government, a potential boon for the automaker as it prepares to start selling vehicles from its Shanghai car plant. In October, Tesla said locally-built Model 3s will be priced from about $50,000. TSLA +1.4% premarket.
Go deeper: Tesla bull case upped to $500 at Morgan Stanley.
The World Bank is adopting a new plan to aid China with $1B to $1.5B in low-interest loans annually through June 2025 despite objections from Steven Mnuchin. The U.S. Treasury secretary argues China is too wealthy for such international aid, pointing to the hundreds of billions of dollars it has loaned to poor countries through its Belt and Road Initiative. U.S. lawmakers are also increasingly concerned that taxpayer funds loaned through the World Bank to China will enable human rights abuses and unfair economic competition.
Germany’s industrial output unexpectedly dropped in October, tumbling 5.3% from the same month in 2018. “Now the trepidation starts again about GDP growth in the final quarter,” said Jens-Oliver Niklasch, economist at Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg. Germany narrowly avoided recession in Q3, as higher household and government spending, as well as a rebound in exports, helped offset a decline in industrial production.