Here are the key updates that investors should know to begin their day of trading:
1. Bumpy beginning
Stocks have had a challenging start in December. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 are down by 0.35% and 0.2% for the first full week of the month. If they end the week with losses, it will break a five-week winning streak. On the other hand, the Nasdaq Composite is slightly up by 0.2% and heading for its sixth consecutive week of gains.
2. Hot Jobs
This week has brought significant updates on job-related information, covering private payrolls, jobless claims, and job openings. However, the main highlight is expected on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET when the Labor Department releases data on nonfarm payrolls.
According to economists surveyed by Dow Jones, they anticipate an addition of 190,000 jobs in November, surpassing the October numbers. They also predict an increase in wage growth. If these expectations hold true, it would indicate that the job market is still robust, though some reports earlier in the week suggested a potential slowdown.
3. Patent Strategy
On Thursday, the Biden administration introduced a new plan aimed at improving access to and reducing prices for specific medications. Despite the apparent advantages, the policy has sparked some disagreement.
It relies on “march-in rights,” enabling the federal government to take control of patents for drugs developed with taxpayer money if they are not reasonably accessible to the public. The goal is to share these patents with other pharmaceutical companies, fostering competition and introducing more affordable generic versions to lower prices.
However, drug manufacturers argue that heightened competition could diminish their revenue and hinder investments in developing new drugs.
4. Investigation in Progress
Regulators in the U.K. have started an initial examination of Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT. This marks the first significant regulatory inquiry into potential competition issues related to this partnership.
The Competition and Markets Authority is assessing whether Microsoft’s $10 billion investment in OpenAI has led to a “relevant merger situation,” giving Microsoft effective control. In response, Microsoft’s President and Vice Chair, Brad Smith, stated that the longstanding relationship has encouraged more innovation and competition in the field of AI while maintaining independence for both companies.
5. Food Subscription Test
Amazon is trying out a new subscription service exclusively for Prime members, blending its extensive logistics network with grocery offerings. In cities like Denver, Sacramento, and Columbus, Amazon Prime users can opt to pay $9.99 per month for unlimited grocery deliveries from Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh.
This is available when they spend at least $35 on their order, and it also includes the convenience of 30-minute pickups for any-sized orders. This move is a response to changes in consumer behavior regarding fresh food deliveries, with rising costs and fewer people relying on at-home delivery post-Covid.
Tony Hoggett, who heads Amazon’s physical stores business, stated, “We’re always trying out new features to make shopping easier, faster, and more affordable. We’re eager to hear the responses from members who take advantage of this offer.”
Investors face a challenging start to December with stock fluctuations. The job market shows promise, as economists anticipate job additions and wage growth. The Biden administration’s medication pricing strategy raises debates about competition. UK regulators investigate Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI, and Amazon tests a $9.99/month grocery subscription for Prime members in select cities, adapting to changing consumer habits.