5 issues to know earlier than the inventory market opens Friday, July 2

Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:

1. Stock futures flat ahead of June jobs report

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 4th. 2020.


U.S. stock futures were flat Friday morning ahead of the release of the key June jobs report, which is set for 8:30 a.m. ET. All street major indexes finished in the green Thursday, as Wall Street kicked off the second half of 2021 on a positive note after a strong first six months. The S&P 500 advanced 0.5% to 4,319.94, setting its sixth-consecutive record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 131 points, finishing the session at 34,633.53. The 30-stock Dow has risen three out of the past four sessions and sits at its highest level since June 4. The tech-heavy Nasdaq on Thursday rose 0.13% to 4,522.38. The major averages are all positive for the week and on pace for their second-straight weekly gain.

2. Economists expect 706,000 jobs were added in June

A company advertises a help wanted sign on April 09, 2021 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

All eyes are on the June jobs report, as investors look for further insight into the U.S. labor market’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic-induced wreckage is proceeding; so far, it’s been improving slower than anticipated. According to Dow Jones, economists project 706,000 nonfarm jobs were added in June and expect the unemployment rate dropped to 5.6% from 5.8%. Average hourly earnings are forecasted to have rose 0.3% in June over May and 3.6% on a year-over-year basis. The Labor Department’s jobs reports for April and May have missed Wall Street’s expectations.

3. Robinhood files for highly anticipated initial public offering

Pavlo Gonchar | LightRocket | Getty Images

In its highly anticipated IPO filing Thursday, Robinhood Markets revealed it has 18 million retail clients and more than $80 billion in customer assets. The free stock trading pioneer said it was profitable in 2020, posting $7.45 million in net income on net revenue of $959 million, as its number of funded accounts more than doubled that year. In 2019, Robinhood lost $107 million on $278 million in net revenue.

Robinhood ended the first three months of this year with a loss of $1.4 billion, which is connected to the emergency fundraising it completed during the height of the Reddit-fueled GameStop frenzy in January. Revenue in the quarter jumped 309% to $522 million, compared with $128 million in the first quarter of 2020. About 38% of Robinhood’s revenue comes from options trading accounts. Equities account for 25% of revenue, while crypto represents 17%.

The company, which was founded in 2013, is looking to raise $100 million in its IPO. It intends to list on the Nasdaq and trade under the ticker “HOOD.”

4. Virgin Galactic plans to launch Richard Branson to space on July 11

Sir Richard Branson stands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of Virgin Galactic (SPCE) trading in New York, U.S., October 28, 2019.

Richard Branson Virgin Galactic IPO NYSE

Space tourism company Virgin Galactic scheduled its next test spaceflight for July 11, and company founder Sir Richard Branson intends to be onboard. The timing is particularly noteworthy, as the billionaire Englishman aims to beat Jeff Bezos to space. The Amazon founder and world’s wealthiest person is scheduled to launch on July 20 with his own company, Blue Origin. Shares of Virgin Galactic soared about 30% in premarket trading to around $56 apiece. The scheduled launch will be Virgin Galactic’s fourth test spaceflight to date. Branson started Virgin Galactic in 2004, and the company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in October 2019.

5. Toyota outsells GM in U.S. for first time in a quarter

A Toyota Tundra pickup truck is seen at a car dealership in San Jose, California.

Yichuan Cao | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Toyota Motor sold more vehicles in the U.S. than General Motors in the second quarter, marking the first time the Japanese automaker has done so in three-month reporting period. On Thursday, Toyota said it sold 688,813 vehicles in America from April through June, narrowly edging out GM’s 688,236 vehicles. Toyota’s results topped analyst expectations; GM’s came up short. Toyota may become the best-selling automaker in the U.S., depending on where Ford’s results come in. GM’s crosstown rival reports the figure Friday morning, and analysts forecast second-quarter U.S. sales of 645,000 vehicles. The last time GM was not America’s top-selling automaker for a quarter was the third quarter of 1998, when Ford outsold them, according to Edmunds.

The automotive industry has been managing through a shortage of semiconductors, disrupting production schedules at a time when consumer demand for new vehicles has been strong. Toyota and other Japanese automakers have so far managed the chip crunch better than U.S. rivals.

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