U.S. equity markets closed higher Thursday, led by the Dow Jones industrials, which added 1.8% on the day. All 11 sectors closed higher, with financial and industrial stocks both up 3.0% and the energy sector up 2.9%. Before November’s employment report was released, traders were keeping their powder dry, with the major indexes up only slightly. Crude oil traded up nearly 3% at around $68 a barrel, and Bitcoin was basically flat at $56,931. Yields on 10-year Treasuries were down nearly three basis points.
The U.S. Department of Labor employment situation report for November showed that the U.S. non-farm payrolls added just 210,000 workers last month, less than half the consensus estimate of 545,000. Private employers added 235,000 workers last month, compared to an adjusted total of 628,000 new jobs added in October. The October number may have been skewed by seasonal employment. The headline unemployment rate fell from 4.6% in October to 4.2%, lower than the estimate of 4.5%. Stocks held on to slim gains following the data release.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday filed a lawsuit to block Nvidia’s proposed $40 billion acquisition of chip designer ARM. The FTC argues that the combined firm “would have the means and incentive to stifle innovative next-generation technologies, including those used to run data centers and driver-assistance systems in cars.” Nvidia stock closed up about 2.2% on Thursday and traded down less than 1% in Friday’s premarket.
Chinese ride-hailing firm DiDi Global Inc. (NYSE: DIDI) traded about flat on Thursday and early trading Friday had the stock down 10%. The company said that it would accede to the Chinese government’s pressure and delist its American depositary shares from the New York Stock Exchange. DiDi will begin listing its shares in Hong Kong at some unspecified future date and said it would ensure that its New York-traded shares “will be convertible into freely tradable shares of the Company on another internationally recognised stock exchange.” The company also said it would hold a shareholder vote on the delisting plan.
Stocks on our meme stock watch list mostly closed higher Thursday, but the big news was the continued slide of Grab Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRAB), the Singapore-based superapp maker that began trading Thursday after completing a SPAC merger with Altimeter Growth. Shares dropped more than 20% on trading volume of 35.7 million shares. The stock traded up about 2.2% in Friday’s premarket session.
Another newly public company, OceanPal Inc. (NASDAQ: OP) dropped by nearly 17% on its third day of trading. Since its spin-off from Diana Shipping, the dry bulk shipper’s stock has bounced from a low of $3.56 to a high of $12.09 and closed Thursday at $5.45. The average trading volume over the three days is about 17.8 million shares, and the stock traded down nearly 5% in Friday’s premarket.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) added nearly 6% to its share price on Thursday on heavier than normal volume of about 54.5 million shares. The company had no specific news, and it traded up by less than 1% in Friday’s premarket.