Jobs Report, Uber, Roku, Disney - 5 Things You Must Know Friday

Stock futures rise as trade reps from the U.S. and China hold a constructive call; U.S. jobs report is forecast to show employers cut 22 million jobs in April.
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Here are five things you must know for Friday, May 8:

1. -- Stock Futures Rise on Positive U.S.-China Trade Talks

Stock futures were higher Friday following news that trade representatives from the U.S. and China held a constructive phone call and ahead of the U.S. jobs report, which is forecast to show employers cut an astonishing 22 million jobs in April as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the economy.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 269 points, futures for the S&P 500 gained 32 points and Nasdaq futures were up 96 points.

Reuters reported that top officials from Washington and Beijing discussed their Phase One trade agreement, with both sides saying they expected obligations under the pact to be met.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agreed during the phone call that the world's two largest economies would strive to implement the trade agreement reached earlier this year, said China’s commerce ministry.

The positive trade developments come the same day of the expected worst U.S. jobs report since record-keeping began after World War II, the Associated Press noted.

The unemployment is forecast to rise to 16%, the highest rate since the Great Depression and up from just 4.4% in March. The unemployment rate as recently as February was at a 50-year low of 3.5%.

“That bad report (Friday) is actually going to understate how bad the damage has been,” said Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari. He said the unemployment rate could be as high as 17% but the true number could be 24%. 

“It’s devastating,” Kashkari said on NBC’s Today Show.

Stocks rose Thursday and the S&P 500 finished higher for the third time in four days as another 3.2 million U.S. workers applied for unemployment benefits. The weekly number, however, declined for the fifth week since peaking in late March.

2. -- Uber Posts $3B Loss but Sees Healthy Growth in Eats Business

Uber Technologies  (UBER) - Get Report posted a massive first-quarter loss but is steaming ahead despite a steep drop in demand for its core ride-hailing business.

Uber reported a loss of $2.94 billion, its widest loss in three quarters, on revenue that was roughly in line with analysts' expectations for the March quarter. But the company is hoping to capitalize on healthy growth in its Eats business by expanding into new categories, such as grocery and package delivery. 

Uber shares rose 7.47% to $33.24 in premarket trading Friday.

“While our Rides business has been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic, we have taken quick action to preserve the strength of our balance sheet, focus additional resources on Uber Eats, and prepare us for any recovery scenario,” said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement. “Along with the surge in food delivery, we are encouraged by the early signs we are seeing in markets that are beginning to open back up. Our global footprint and highly variable cost structure remain an important advantage, as our expectation is that the Rides recovery will vary by city and country.”

Revenue from Uber Eats rose 53% last quarter, driven by increased demand for food delivery tied to the coronavirus pandemic, while revenue from rides was up 2%.

3. -- Roku Falls After Cautioning on Ad Growth

Roku  (ROKU) - Get Report was falling 9.67% to $124.21 in premarket trading Friday after reporting streaming hours that came in below analysts'  estimates and cautioning on ad growth.

Roku reported a first-quarter loss of 45 cents a share on revenue of $320.8 million. Analysts were expecting Roku to report a loss of 45 cents on revenue of $306.7 million.

Streaming hours of 13.2 billion missed expectations of 13.6 billion hours.

Roku said its ad business, which is believed to account for a large portion of its gross profit, has seen higher-than-normal cancellations.

As a result, Roku said that although it still expects to see “substantial” ad revenue growth this year, the growth will be “at a slower pace and lower gross profit” than what it originally expected. 

In addition, when asked on its conference call about how ad pricing trended in the first quarter and is expected to trend through 2020 quarters, Roku said it’s “not certain how pricing and how the overall market plays out over the next couple of quarters.”

4. -- Disney Springs to Begin Phased Reopening May 20

Walt Disney World will begin a phased reopening Disney Springs, its restaurant and entertainment area, on May 20, but Disney’s  (DIS) - Get Report theme parks and hotels will remain closed.

“Disney Springs will begin to reopen in a way that incorporates enhanced safety measures, including increased cleaning procedures, the use of appropriate face coverings by both cast members and guests, limited-contact guest services and additional safety training for cast members," wrote Matt Simon, vice president for Disney Springs, on the official Disney Parks Blog.

“Following the guidance of government and health officials, a limited number of shopping and dining experiences that are owned by third-party operating participants will begin to open during this initial phase,” Simon said.

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, has been closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

5. -- Live Nation's Revenue Plunges as Concerts Suspended by Pandemic

Live Nation Entertainment  (LYV) - Get Report said revenue in the quarter ended March 31, fell 21% to $1.37 billion as gig-goers were kept from arenas by lockdowns and stay-at-home orders.

The world's largest concert promoter and ticketing provider said revenue in its concerts segment dropped 25% to $993.4 million in the quarter and ticketing fell 16% to $284.3 million.

The company, which owns Ticketmaster, suspended shows March 12, just ahead of the critical summer concert season. Live Nation said 80% of affected shows were rescheduled rather than canceled, and that 90% of fans were holding onto tickets for rescheduled dates. 

Demand for shows remains strong, CEO Michael Rapino told The Wall Street Journal.