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5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday

1. Stock futures rise one day after Wall Street’s big rally

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on December 02, 2021 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

U.S. stock futures rose Friday ahead of the Labor Department’s before-the-bell release of its November jobs data. Investors will be weighing backward-looking jobs numbers against rising cases of the Covid omicron variant, trying to figure out if the Federal Reserve will indeed accelerate the tapering of its monthly bond purchases.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 617 points or 1.8% on Thursday even as more omicron cases in the U.S. were being reported. The first U.S. case reported the day before swung the benchmark from a 520-point gain to a 460-point loss. The Dow fell more than 1.8% on Tuesday after a brief respite Monday. Blue chips sank 2.5% in last Friday’s holiday-shortened session after omicron was revealed to have been discovered in South Africa.

In Friday’s premarket, shares of DocuSign were plunging more than 30%, the morning after issuing weak forward guidance. Shares of Tesla were down slightly as CEO Elon Musk exercised more options, bringing his recent stock sales to $10.9 billion. Shares of Didi Global were falling roughly 10% after the Chinese ride-hailing firm announced plans to delist from the New York Stock Exchange and pursue a listing in Hong Kong instead. The stock has dropped more than 45% from its IPO price in July.

2. Employment report expected to show continued strong hiring

Signage for a job fair is seen on 5th Avenue after the release of the jobs report in New York, September 3, 2021.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

Economists expect the government’s latest employment report — issued at 8:30 a.m. ET — to show that 573,000 jobs were created last month, up from October’s better-than-expected 531,000 total. The nation’s unemployment rate in November is seen dipping to 4.5%. Average hourly earnings, a measure of wage inflation, are expected to increase by 0.4% on a monthly basis, or 5% year over year. Earlier this week, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank could speed up the tapering of its $120 billion per month bond-buying program, which it put in place to prop up the economy during the pandemic. Powell said the Fed will discuss the possible move at its December meeting.

3. FDA prepares for quick review of omicron vaccines, drugs, WSJ says

Vials and a medical syringe seen displayed in front of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States logo. FDA finds the COVID-19 vaccine.

Pavlo Gonchar | LightRocket | Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration is getting ready for a rapid review of omicron-specific vaccines and treatments should they be needed, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. The Journal also reports that the agency has been meeting with drugmakers to set guidelines for what data would be needed for quick evaluation. The CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna told CNBC on Nov. 29 that it will take about a couple of weeks to gather enough data to determine what impact omicron’s mutations have on the effectiveness of the current vaccines.

4. Five states in U.S., including NY and Calif, confirm omicron cases

A sign outside of a hospital advertises COVID-19 testing on November 19, 2021 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

At least five U.S. states — Minnesota, Colorado, New York, Hawaii and California — have now confirmed cases of omicron as scientists investigate whether the heavily mutated strain is more infectious and virulent. California confirmed the first U.S. case of omicron on Wednesday. Minnesota public health authorities on Thursday morning confirmed the second U.S. case of omicron, in a resident who recently returned from New York City. Thursday evening, New York confirmed five cases. Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul told residents that detection of multiple cases does not mean the state will revert to the sweeping shutdowns imposed during the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

5. Biden expected to sign short-term government spending bill

US President Joe Biden speaks on supply chain issues in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House in Washington, DC on December 1, 2021.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Friday is expected to sign the newly approved short-term government spending bill. The legislation, which was swiftly passed by the House and the Senate on Thursday, forestalls a government shutdown for the time being, providing federal funding through Feb. 18. While preventing one fiscal crisis, lawmakers still need to avert another, figuring out how to increase the nation’s debt ceiling to pay its bills before Dec. 15. That’s when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the limit would be reached. It’s almost two weeks later than her initial forecast of Dec. 3.

— Reuters contributed to this report. Follow all the market action like a pro on CNBC Pro. Get the latest on the pandemic with CNBC’s coronavirus coverage.

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