Jobs Report, Wall Street Records, Boeing, Grubhub and Amazon - 5 Things You Must Know Friday

Stock futures rise though come off earlier highs as the U.S. created fewer jobs in December than expected; Boeing employees knew of problems with flight simulators on 737 MAX, documents show; Grubhub says it's not for sale.
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Here are five things you must know for Friday, Jan. 10:

1. -- Stock Futures Trim Gains After Jobs Report

Stock futures pushed higher Friday, indicating Wall Street would open with fresh records as the relief rally following ebbing tensions between the United States and Iran continues to lift global markets. The U.S. created fewer jobs in December than forecast but stock futures remained in positive territory. 

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 35 points, futures for the S&P 500 gained 5.35 points and Nasdaq futures were up 31.25 points.

The Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all closed at record highs Thursday. The Dow finished at just under 29,000 as investors' anxiety over an escalation of hostilities between Washington and Tehran eased.

The expectation that the U.S. and China will sign their phase one trade agreement next week also has helped drive equities higher, though Donald Trump alluded Thursday evening to the possibility that the accord could be signed "shortly after" Jan. 15, a signing date the president announced in a tweet on Dec. 31. 

“Risk appetite continues to improve as investors judged the U.S.-Iran tensions to not be as concerning as thought while focusing on the upcoming leads including U.S.-China trade and a potential payrolls surprise into the end of week,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

The U.S. added 145,000 jobs to payrolls in December, less than the forecast 160,000.The unemployment rate held steady at 3.5%.

2. -- Boeing Employees Knew About Flight Simulator Problems on 737 MAX

Boeing (BA) - Get Report employees knew about problems with flight simulators for the 737 MAX and apparently tried to hide them from federal regulators, reports said, citing documents that were released Thursday.

In internal messages, Boeing employees talked about misleading regulators about problems with the simulators. In one exchange, an employee told a colleague they wouldn't let their family ride on a 737 MAX, the Associated Press reported.

The release of the documents came two days after Boeing reversed an earlier position and said it would recommend additional simulator training for pilots when regulators clear the MAX to fly again. Boeing had insisted that pilots who trained on older 737 simulators only needed additional computer-based instruction in order to operate the newer MAX models.

Employees also complained about the 737 MAX, which has been grounded since mid-March 2019 after two crashes of the aircraft killed 346 people.

“This airplane is designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys,” one employee wrote.

“These communications do not reflect the company we are and need to be, and they are completely unacceptable,” Boeing said. “We regret the content of these communications, and apologize to the FAA, Congress, our airline customers, and to the flying public for them.”

3. -- Amazon Seeks to Sell Streaming TV Ads Outside of Fire TV

Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report wants to sell some ads for the first time on streaming TV systems other than its Fire TV platform, such as Apple TV and Xbox.

Amazon is talking with TV app owners about integrating technology to let it sell some of their ad inventory on other streaming TV systems, which would also include PlayStation and Android TV, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The talks, the Journal noted, have been taking place between programmers and Amazon Publisher Services, a division whose services include providing technology for publishers to sell ads across platforms. 

Amazon has told publishers it can fill ads at higher prices - as much as $40 per thousand impressions -than other third-party ad-selling platforms, a person negotiating with the company told the Journal.

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4. -- Grubhub Denies It's for Sale

Grubhub (GRUB) - Get Report, the online food delivery company, denied reports that it was considering a sale.

“While our policy is not to comment on rumors, given the considerable media speculation ... we felt it was important to clarify that there is unequivocally no process in place to sell the company and there are currently no plans to do so,” a Grubhub told the New York Post. 

“We have always consulted advisers about a broad range of issues, including potential acquisition opportunities - that has not changed,” the spokesperson added.

The stock was falling 9.28% in premarket trading Friday to $50.56.

The Post on Wednesday said executives from Walmart (WMT) - Get Report and at least three other grocers have mulled acquiring Grubhub.

The Wall Street Journal earlier this week reported Grubhub had tapped financial advisers for help in reviewing its strategic options, including a sale.

5. -- KB Home Tumbles After Revenue Miss

Homebuilder KB Home (KBH) - Get Report posted an increase in fiscal fourth-quarter earnings but the stock was falling in premarket trading after revenue was less than expected.

Earnings were $123.2 million, or $1.31 a share, on revenue of $1.56 billion. A year earlier, KB Home posted earnings of 96 cents a share on sales of $1.3 billion.

Analysts had expected adjusted earnings of $1.28 a share on sales of $1.6 billion.

Homebuilding revenue in the period rose about 16% from a year earlier. Deliveries in the quarter were 3,929 homes, an increase of 16%. Net orders rose 38%.

KB Home fell 3.02% to $35.94 in premarket trading Friday.

Fellow homebuilder Lennar (LEN) - Get Report on Wednesday posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street estimates as deliveries and new orders in the period jumped.