Virgin Galactic, Didi, Krispy Kreme: what to watch for when the stock market opens today


The battle for the primacy of space tourism is intensifying, shares from recent IPOs rebound and investors await an update on the state of the labor market. Here’s what we’re watching ahead of Friday’s opening bell.

  • Futures contracts linked to the S&P 500 were flat, indicating that the broad market index will open little change after the New York opening bell. The index is on track to post gains for the week. Contracts related to the heavy Nasdaq-100 rose 0.1%. Read our full market overview here.
What is coming
  • The jobs report for June, due at 8:30 am ET, is expected to record an increase of 706,000 non-farm jobs and a drop in the unemployment rate to 5.6% from 5.8%.
  • US markets will be closed on Monday for Independence Day.
Market movers to watch out for
  • The term “space race” has not historically been a reference to Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos. But just weeks before Blue Origin’s Mr. Bezos was the first space company executive to launch into the skies, Mr. Branson decided he wasn’t playing a supporting role to anyone. Investors seem to like his moxie. Galactic Virgo SPCE -6.11%

    stocks climbed 27% before market.

Richard Branson rang a bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as Virgin Galactic began trading on October 28, 2019.


Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters

  • But MM. Branson and Bezos don’t monopolize all of the action in the space market. Astra Space,

    ASTR 4.45%

    which just started trading on Thursday as part of a PSPC deal, was up 3.4% before market launch.

  • And speaking of IPOs, a few of this week’s big IPOs are bouncing before the bell. Krispy Kreme DNUT 23.53%

    went public for the second time in its history this week, and its shares climbed 24% on day one. But on Friday morning, investors were losing their sweet tooth, dragging stocks down 3.6% before market.

  • Chinese carpooling giant Didi Global DIDI 15.98%

    stocks added 2.4% before market. The company started trading in New York on Wednesday and managed to pull up slightly on day one. Then on Thursday, the stock jumped 16%. I guess investors just need a moment to get their engines running.

  • It’s a good day to be in the food business. Packaged Food Manufacturer Conagra CAG -1.04%

    and agricultural giant Archer Daniels Midland ADM 0.18%

    were both up pre-market, 2.3% and 1.6% respectively.

Market facts
  • The Euro Stoxx Banks index has rebounded strongly since the end of 2020 and is up nearly 30% this year, compared to 15% for the Euro Stoxx 50 blue chip index.
  • World food prices rose 4.8% in May from the previous month, the biggest monthly increase since 2010, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Prices in May were almost 40% higher than a year earlier and the FAO food price index was at its highest level since 2011.
  • On this day of 1890, in reaction to the monopoly excesses of the “thief barons,” the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, authorizing the US Department of Justice to investigate and dismantle giant industrial monopolies, became law.
Card of the day
  • Issuance of new blank check companies has slowed due to new accounting guidelines from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Must read since you went to bed

Write to James Willhite at [email protected]

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