Here are five things you must know for Friday, August 7:
1. -- Wall Street Futures Slump
U.S. stocks look set for a weaker open Friday ahead of the July jobs report after President Donald Trump further stoked political tensions with Beijing by issuing and Executive Order banning China-based social media apps WeChat and TikTok.
“To protect our Nation, I took action to address the threat posed by one mobile application, TikTok," Trump said. "Further action is needed to address a similar threat posed by another mobile application, WeChat."
The decision, which will be challenged by owners Tencent Holdings and ByteDance, will come into effect in mid-September, around the same time Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report is expected to either complete its purchase of TikTok or walk away from a transaction that was essentially forced by the White House.
It also does little to ease the simmering tensions between Washington and Beijing, which were further stoked by data earlier this morning showing a $32.5 billion trade surplus between China and the U.S. last month, up from $29.4 billion in June.
Negotiations are expected to continue today in Washington -- and President Trump has threatened to use Executive Orders to extend the weekly $600 payment -- although the Republicans and Democrats remain trillions of dollars apart in their respective plans.
Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average suggest a 175 point opening bell decline, while those linked to the S&P 500 are indicating a 15.5 point pullback for the broader benchmark.
2. -- China Raps TikTok Ban
China vowed to hit back at President Donald Trump's potentially sweeping ban on social media apps TikTok and WeChat, calling the Executive Order which bars them from dealing with U.S. companies or markets as "using state power to oppress non-American businesses."
The Foreign Ministry statement followed Trump's Executive order on the popular TikTok app, which is owned by China-based ByteDance, and WeChat, which is owned by tech giant Tencent Holdings.
"TikTok ... automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users," the order read. "This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information — potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage."
Tencent shares were pummeled in Asia trading, falling more than 5% in Hong Kong and shedding more than $35 billion in value following the potential ban, which also weighed on stocks in the region and boosted the value of the U.S. dollar.
3. -- July Jobs Report In Focus
Friday's July employment report could be critical to the negotiations between Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Washington this week as the two sides remain trillions of dollars apart in their respect coronavirus rescue plans.
Economists expect the Bureau of Labor Statistics to say that 1.58 million new jobs were added to the economy last month as business re-opened and hiring resumed following the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, but weaker readings on private sector job creation from ADP, as well as hiring signals in the ISM non-manufacturing report from last month and the 21st consecutive week of weekly unemployment applications of more than 1 million, has analysts wondering if their assessments are accurate.
The jobs data, scheduled for 8:30 am Eastern time, could certainly spur lawmakers to compromise in their efforts to extend unemployment benefits worth $600 per week, which lapsed last month, if it shows a smaller-than-forecast total. It could also allow Congress to spend a few more weeks wrangling over details of the stimulus packages if job additions are stronger than market forecasts.
4. -- Uber Posts Q2 Loss Despite Eats Gains
Uber Technologies shares slumped lower in pre-market trading Friday after the ride hailing group booked a $1.8 billion second quarter loss as passenger traffic dried up during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Uber said overall revenue fell 29% from last year to $2.24 billion as a result of stay-at-home orders and the closure of businesses, bars and restaurants in its key markets, although sales from its food delivery division, Uber Eats, doubled from the same period last year to $1.2 billion as lock-in customers took advantage of restaurant take-out services.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the disappointing results wouldn't change the company's plans to be profitable by next year, but conceded its broader recovery would be dependent on government's ability to control the resurgent coronavirus.
Uber shares were marked 3.5% lower in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $33.50 each.
5. -- Massive Power Outages Reported In New York City
Con Edison said Friday that it's investigating a potentially massive power outage in New York City, amid reports of blackouts in the Harlem, Central Park and Lennox Hill areas of the biggest U.S. city.
The power failures could extend the misery for around 2.5 million New Yorkers who have been without electricity since Tropical Storm Isaias tore through the metro area earlier this week, a level of disruption matched only by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
In neighboring New Jersey, some 1.2 million customers were still waiting for utility services to be returned as of Friday, state officials said, with a further 600,000 without power in nearby Connecticut.