Premarket trading Friday circled the wagons until the employment situation report came out at 8:30 ET. The good news was abundant. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 531,000, more than the consensus estimate of 450,000, and the September increase was revised upward by 118,000 to 312,000. The headline unemployment rate fell from 4.8% to 4.6%, and average hourly earnings rose by 0.4% month over month and 4.9% year over year. Private payrolls increased by 604,000 and manufacturing jobs jumped from a revised September total of 31,000 to 60,000. All three major indexes moved higher after the jobs report.
Among meme stocks, one of Thursday’s big movers was Progenity Inc. (NASDAQ: PROG). Shares rose almost 16% on no specific news. Progenity was Fintel’s top choice for a short squeeze this week, but the best the retail bulls have been able to do is keep the share price flat over the first four trading days of the week. That may now sound like much to crow about, but as of Friday’s premarket session, the stock had added about $0.80 to its share price, after dropping to a weekly low of $2.85 on Tuesday. That’s an increase of 28%. Progenity reports third-quarter results after markets close Wednesday, November 10.
Electric and hybrid electric-hydrogen truck maker Nikola Inc. (NASDAQ: NKLA) has said it has reached an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle claims that the truckmaker misled investors. Under the agreement, Nikola will pay a fine of $125 million (in installments). The company also reported quarterly results after markets closed Wednesday. Nikola posted no revenue in the quarter (expected) and incurred a loss of $0.22 per share, much better than the expected loss of $0.38 per share. The stock traded down about 5.5% in Friday’s premarket, after jumping by 21.5% on Thursday.
Earlier this week, coronavirus vaccine maker Ocugen Inc. (NASDAQ: OCGN) received emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization for its COVID-19 vaccine. The stock, which was trading up about 600% for the year, plunged as some investors took profits. Friday morning, the company said it has filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for use with children between the ages of 2 and 18. The stock jumped by more than 7% at one point in Friday’s premarket but then pulled back to a gain of around 2.4%.
Independent research firm New Concepts believes that Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) has been overvalued by approximately $1 trillion. The company’s market cap at Thursday’s close was about $1.24 trillion. Barron’s cites New Concepts CEO David Trainer: “The $1.2 trillion valuation implies Tesla owns 118% of the entire global passenger EV market and becomes more profitable than Apple [AAPL] by 2030.” In order to reach that goal, Tesla would need to sell about 31 million vehicles in 2030 to justify the current valuation.
That amounts to nearly half the total number of about 64 million new cars sold globally in all of 2019. Worldwide sales last year fell to around 53.6 million due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tesla stock traded up about 1.3% on Thursday and traded down less than 1% in Friday’s premarket at $1,228.77.