Wall St futures rise marginally as focus turns to December jobs report

Wall Street

It’s jobs Friday!

U.S. stock markets look set for a cautious open ahead of the release of the Labor Department’s monthly employment report figures this morning.

The report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show the U.S. economy 405,000 jobs in December, significantly higher than the 210,000 additions recorded in November.

Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal also expect the unemployment rate have dropped to 4.1% last year from 4.2% in November.

Wall Street and Fed policymakers will be closely watching the labor-force participation rate to know the number of people who are currently employed and those who are actively hunting for jobs in the midst of a fresh Covid wave.

As of 5:30 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were marked 58 points, or 0.16% higher to 36,181. S&P 500 futures gained 10.5 points, or 0.22% to 4,698 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures edged up 36.25 points, or 0.23% to 15,795.25.

GameStop soars amid reports it plans to launch an NFT platform for gamers

Shares of GameStop (NYSE: GME) are rocketing after the Wall Street Journal said in a report that the company is planning to enter the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) space later this year.

The journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said GameStop is launching a unit to develop an NFT marketplace and launch cryptocurrency partnerships.

According to the report, the company has hired more than 20 people to run the unit, which is expected to serve as a marketplace to buy, sell and trade NFTs of virtual video game goods that could include weapons and outfits for game players’ avatars.

Shares of the video game retailer rallied 19.82% to $157 apiece in the premarket hours on Friday, having closed the previous session at $131.03.

Sonos shares surge after patent victory over Google

Meanwhile, Sonos (NASDAQ: SONO) has emerged victorious in a patent dispute with Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) subsidiary Google relating to the latter’s audio technology patents.

In a final ruling on Thursday, the U.S. International Trade Commission said that Google infringed on five audio technology patents held by Sonos and barred the search giant from shipping products that violate the speaker manufacturer’s intellectual property into the United States.

The court agreed with a judge’s ruling that several Google products including Pixelbook laptops and Pixel phones and the Nest Wi-Fi and Nest Hub violated Sonos’ home audio patents.

The ban on the devices is expected to go into effect in 60 days, unless it is vetoed by President Joe Biden.

As of writing, Sonos stock was up $1.28, or 4.43% to $30.15 a share in the premarket trading session.