Futures tilt lower, Jobs report, Uber earnings, Coronavirus update, and more

Wall Street

All eyes on the U.S. jobs report

Wall Street appeared set to open lower on Friday, as investors awaited the latest employment report that will confirm whether the U.S. economy remains a bright spot amid coronavirus concerns.

The closely watched January U.S. jobs report due to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show the economy added 161,000 jobs and that the unemployment rate remained at a five-decade low of 3.5%. according to FactSet data.

In December, the economy gained 145,000 jobs. Average hourly earnings are forecast to jump 3% from a year ago and 0.3% on a month-on-month basis.

As of 4:30 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 66.5 points, or 0.23% to 29,261.5 while the S&P 500 futures dropped 6.13 points, or 0.18% to 3,339.12. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 20.62 points, or 0.22% to 9,434.88.

Uber CEO predicts profitability by end of 2020; shares surge

Uber (NYSE: UBER) said Thursday it lost $1.1 billion, or $0.64 per share in fiscal 2019 fourth-quarter, about 24% more than the same period a year ago. However, that was slightly better than what analysts had forecast. On average, analysts surveyed by Refinitiv expected the company to report a loss of $1.18 billion, or $0.67 per share during the quarter.

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing titan pulled in $4.1 billion in revenue, a 37% increase from the earlier-year period. Although its revenue grew worldwide, the company said the biggest gains came from Canada and the U.S., where it raked in 41% more than in Q4 2018. Analysts had called for revenue of $4.06 billion, according to data compiled by Refinitiv.

Speaking during Uber’s earnings call, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company was accelerating its EBITDA profitability target from full year 2021 to Q4 2020. Uber shares surged 7.44% to $39.85 in premarket trade Friday.

Coronavirus death toll surpasses 600 in China

Meanwhile, the death toll in mainland China from the coronavirus has jumped to 636, with the total number of cases now standing at 31,161, according to the country’s health officials.

Li Wenliang, the doctor who blew the whistle on the coronavirus in January and was punished by Chinese authorities for that warning, has also died from the deadly pneumonia-like virus.

There are also 225 cases in 24 countries outside China with one death, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is asking for $675 million in donations to contain the spread of the virus in countries considered at risk.

President Donald Trump “expressed confidence in China’s strength and resilience in confronting the challenge of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak,” after speaking with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday, according to the White House.