World stocks lower…October jobs report due
UNDATED (AP) – Shares have opened lower in Europe after a downbeat day in Asia, where Chinese benchmarks sagged under revived concerns over property developers. Benchmarks fell in London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai but rose in Paris and Sydney. Jitters over troubles in China’s property sector flared after developer Kaisa Group announced that Hong Kong-traded shares in its companies were suspended after it failed make payments on wealth products it had guaranteed. Investors are watching for employment figures and further updates on corporate earnings. Oil prices rose after OPEC and other oil producers stuck with their plan for cautious monthly increases in oil production even as prices surge and the global economy is thirsty for fuel.
WASHINGTON (AP) – After two disappointing months of hiring, a key question overhanging Friday’s U.S. jobs report for October will be whether companies found more success this time in filling millions of open positions. Economists have forecast that employers added roughly 400,000 jobs last month, according to a survey of economists by data provider FactSet. That would be a stronger showing than the average monthly gain of 280,000 in August and September, though well below the vigorous increases of about 1 million jobs each in June and July. The unemployment rate is expected to fall from 4.8% to 4.7%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats in the House appear on the verge of securing President Joe Biden’s $1.85 trillion-and-growing domestic policy package. The House scrapped votes late Thursday but will be back at it early Friday. The House is back at 8a.m. House passage of the big bill would be a crucial step, sending Biden’s ambitious effort to expand health care, child care and other social services to the Senate. Delays moving the legislation are being blamed for the Democrats’ dismal showing in this week’s elections. On and off Capitol Hill, party leaders have declared it’s time for Congress to deliver on Biden’s agenda.
UNDATED (AP) – Airbnb has reported a strong third quarter with record profit and revenue as more people get vaccinated and return to traveling. Airbnb said Thursday that it earned $834 million on $2.2 billion in revenue during the third quarter, which is traditionally its strongest part of the year because it includes summer travel. The San Francisco-based home-sharing business says that when companies closed offices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, that freed employees to work from somewhere other than the office or home, and some of the hit the road. Airbnb says it expects the trend of work flexibility will accelerate as major companies like Ford and Amazon embrace it.
TOKYO (AP) – The president of Japanese video game maker Nintendo says the shortage in computer chips needed to make its Switch machine is a serious problem unlikely to be fixed soon. Switch sales forecast for this fiscal year was cut to 24 million machines from an earlier 25.5 million units. Plans for the following fiscal year, and the year after, are difficult to predict. Automakers and other manufacturers around the world have been hit hard by the dearth of chips, caused by production disruptions related to the coronavirus pandemic.
TOKYO (AP) – Japanese automaker Honda has lowered its profit and vehicle sales forecasts for the fiscal year, pointing to a supply crunch in chips and rising material costs. Honda recorded a 31% drop from last year in its fiscal second quarter profit, to $1.5 billion. Honda Executive Vice President Seiji Kuraishi apologized to customers and said a recovery likely won’t come in this fiscal year. Tokyo-based Honda expects a 555 billion yen ($4.9 billion) profit for the fiscal year through March 2022. It expects to sell 4.2 million vehicles, down from an earlier forecast for 4.85 million vehicles. It sold 4.5 million vehicles in the last fiscal year.