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North American Morning Briefing: Stock Futures -2-

01/07/2022 | 06:14am EDT

U.S. job growth for 2021 is poised to hit an annual record, and the economy is positioned to churn out jobs this year despite temporary disruptions from the Omicron variant's surge, economists say.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate that hiring strengthened in December as employers added 422,000 jobs, or more than twice the 210,000 added in November. Such payroll gains would leave the U.S. economy with about 6.5 million more jobs than at the end of 2020-more than in any year on record-but 3.5 million jobs short of pre-pandemic levels.

Eurozone Inflation Reaches Historic High

The eurozone's annual rate of inflation rose further in December, reaching the highest print in history, which was posted more than thirty years ago in July 1991.

Consumer prices rose 5.0% on year in December following a 4.9% rise in November, according to a first estimate released Friday by Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency. Consumer prices rose 5.0% on year in July 1991, marking the highest point in history until December 2021.

Investors Brace for Slowing Corporate Bond Sales

Investors expect a pandemic borrowing boom by U.S. companies will continue to cool in 2022.

Analysts at banks including Citigroup, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank are forecasting U.S. companies will issue around $1.3 trillion or $1.4 trillion worth of investment-grade-rated bonds this year, including debt sold by financial institutions. That would nearly match last year's $1.46 trillion, though still mark a decline from 2020's record $1.86 trillion, according to Refintiv.

Eurozone Economic Sentiment Fell in December to a Seven-Month Low

Confidence among the eurozone's consumers and businesses fell in December to the lowest level since May as the increase in Covid-19 infections due to the Omicron variant weighed on the services sector.

The European Commission said Friday that its economic sentiment indicator, an aggregate measure of business and consumer confidence, fell to 115.3 in December from 117.6 in November. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected the index to come in at 116.2.

What Inflation Will Do to Your 2022 Taxes

Inflation is back, at least for now, and that matters for your taxes.

In November, inflation rose 6.8% from a year earlier, nearly a four-decade high as measured by the Labor Department's consumer price index. For new cars (up 11%) and fast-food restaurants (up 7.9%), the jump in prices was the largest on record.

New Disclosures Revive Questions About Fed Policy Maker's Trades

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida disclosed additional sales of shares in broad-based stock funds, drawing fresh scrutiny of financial transactions he conducted at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Clarida last year said three financial investment transactions that he executed on Feb. 27, 2020, were part of a preplanned portfolio rebalancing that occurred before he had any conversations about coming Fed policy actions.

Mexico Requests USMCA Panel to Resolve Dispute Over Auto Rules

MEXICO CITY-The Mexican government has requested a panel under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to resolve a dispute with the U.S. over the interpretation of rules of origin for the auto industry, the Economy Ministry said Thursday.

Rules of origin specify how much of a product must originate in the region covered by the trade agreement to be eligible for tariff-free status.

Unable to Get Covid-19 Tests, Americans Carry On, Go to Work, Get on Flights

Stephanie Chen has been working in the office in Orange County, Calif., each day, taking her 5-year-old son to school, attending church and going about her routine for nine days, all while wondering if she is positive for Covid-19.

When Ms. Chen learned that her cousin's entire family tested positive for the virus after a Christmas gathering she attended with them in Orange County, pharmacies were sold out of rapid tests. Lines exceeded two hours at a local testing site. A Rite Aid website said no appointments were available within 50 miles of her home for at least two weeks.

Victims in Colorado Fire Face High Building Costs Exceeding Insurance Coverage

Rising construction costs will push the price tag for rebuilding after Colorado's most destructive wildfire beyond the insurance coverage of some homeowners, according to construction, insurance-industry and government officials.

Losses are expected to reach $1 billion in last week's Marshall Fire, which swept through the suburbs between Denver and Boulder, Colo. Rebuilding the roughly 1,000 homes destroyed and repairing damage to hundreds of others will strain already stretched builders and supply chains.

Kazakhstan's Leader Gives Security Forces Order to Shoot Without Warning

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said he had given the order to police and army to shoot without warning as the country's security forces scoured the streets of Almaty and other cities for protesters after days of unrest triggered by a fuel-price increase.

He said his government had largely restored order and told a meeting of security chiefs Friday that what he called a counterterrorism operation would continue "until the full liquidation of the militants," who he said were still using weapons. "Law enforcement agencies and the army were given an order by me to shoot at terrorists to kill without warning, " he said, following the arrival of Russian troops to support his government.

CDC Relaxes Isolation, Quarantine Guidelines for Schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its Covid-19 quarantine and isolation guidance for K-12 schools Thursday, bringing it in line with less stringent recommendations for the general public announced last week.

Those who are infected or have symptoms of Covid-19 must isolate regardless of vaccination status, the agency said in the new guidelines. Students, teachers and staff can end isolation after five days after their initial positive test or the onset of symptoms, or if they are fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication and their symptoms have improved.

Jury in Elizabeth Holmes Trial Seized on Two 'Smoking Guns' to Convict Theranos Founder, Juror Says

SAN JOSE, Calif.-In their second week of deliberations, jurors in the trial of Elizabeth Holmes seized on what one juror described as two "smoking guns" that sealed the fate of the Theranos Inc. founder.

Huddled in a fifth-floor courtroom, the four women and eight men were grappling over whether she had defrauded large Theranos investors about her blood-testing startup. Jurors zeroed in on two pieces of evidence they believed showed Ms. Holmes intentionally lied to investors, said Susanna Stefanek, known throughout the trial as Juror No. 8.

Write to sarka.halas@wsj.com

TODAY IN CANADA

Earnings:

- Nothing major scheduled

Economic Indicators (ET):

- 0830 Dec Labour Force Survey

- 1000 Dec Ivey Purchasing Managers Index

Expected Major Events for Friday

00:01/UK: Dec BRC-Sensormatic IQ Footfall Monitor

07:00/GER: Nov Industrial Production Index

07:00/GER: Nov Foreign Trade

07:00/UK: Dec Halifax House Price Index

07:00/UK: 4Q Halifax House Price Index: UK Regional Breakdown quarterly release

07:45/FRA: Nov Household consumption expenditure in manufactured goods

07:45/FRA: Nov Foreign trade

07:45/FRA: Nov Balance of Payments

07:45/FRA: Nov Industrial production index

08:59/JPN: Nov Provisional Labour Survey - Earnings, Employment & Hours Worked

09:00/GER: Dec Baden-Wuerttemberg CPI

09:00/GER: Dec Bavaria CPI

09:00/ITA: 3Q General Govt Quarterly Accounts

09:30/UK: Dec CIPS / Markit Construction PMI

13:30/CAN: Dec Labour Force Survey

13:30/US: Dec U.S. Employment Report

15:00/CAN: Dec Ivey Purchasing Managers Index

20:00/US: Nov Consumer Credit

All times in GMT. Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.

Expected Earnings for Friday

Acuity Brands (AYI) is expected to report $2.07 for 1Q.

Greenbrier Cos (GBX) is expected to report $0.16 for 1Q.

Hurco Cos (HURC) is expected to report for 4Q.

Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.

ANALYST RATINGS ACTIONS

Adagio Therapeutics Cut to Underweight From Equal-Weight by Morgan Stanley

ADT Cut to Sector Perform From Outperform by RBC Capital

Akamai Technologies Cut to Neutral From Overweight by Piper Sandler

Allbirds Raised to Overweight From Equal-Weight by Morgan Stanley

Ansys Cut to Neutral From Outperform by Baird

Atea Pharmaceuticals Cut to Underweight From Equal-Weight by Morgan Stanley

Avis Budget Group Raised to Hold From Sell by Deutsche Bank

Berkeley Lights Cut to Hold From Buy by Stifel

Bolt Biotherapeutics Cut to Equal-Weight From Overweight by Morgan Stanley

Ceridian HCM Cut to Equal-Weight From Overweight by Wells Fargo

CH Robinson Worldwide Raised to Outperform From Peer Perform by Wolfe Research

Coinbase Global Raised to Buy From Neutral by B of A Securities

Comerica Raised to Neutral From Underperform by B of A Securities

Covenant Logistics Group Cut to Underperform From Peer Perform by Wolfe Research

CS Disco Raised to Buy From Hold by Jefferies

Dollar General Cut to Equal-Weight From Overweight by Wells Fargo

DTE Energy Raised to Overweight From Equal-Weight by Morgan Stanley

Elastic Cut to Hold From Buy by Jefferies

Entergy Cut to Underweight From Equal-Weight by Morgan Stanley

Evercore Cut to Neutral From Buy by Goldman Sachs

Exxon Mobil Raised to Hold From Sell by Truist Securities

Five9 Raised to Buy From Hold by Jefferies

Forward Air Cut to Peer Perform From Outperform by Wolfe Research

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Is Maintained at Outperform by Raymond James

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Price Target Is Maintained at $45.00/Share by Raymond James

Gilead Sciences Cut to Equal-Weight From Overweight by Morgan Stanley

GitLab Raised to Overweight From Neutral by Piper Sandler

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

01-07-22 0613ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ACUITY BRANDS, INC. 0.91% 176.55 Delayed Quote.-17.36%
ADAGIO THERAPEUTICS, INC. 10.74% 2.99 Delayed Quote.-62.81%
AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 1.26% 102.15 Delayed Quote.-15.33%
ANSYS, INC. 4.25% 263.765 Delayed Quote.-36.94%
ATEA PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. 7.41% 8.11 Delayed Quote.-15.49%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (AUD/USD) 0.78% 0.715 Delayed Quote.-2.35%
AVIS BUDGET GROUP, INC. 7.05% 198.28 Delayed Quote.-10.77%
BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION 0.31% 36.795 Delayed Quote.-17.58%
BERKELEY LIGHTS, INC. 9.57% 5.045 Delayed Quote.-74.70%
BOLT BIOTHERAPEUTICS, INC. 3.43% 1.81 Delayed Quote.-64.29%
BRITISH POUND / US DOLLAR (GBP/USD) 0.06% 1.2621 Delayed Quote.-6.98%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (CAD/USD) 0.40% 0.78585 Delayed Quote.-1.39%
CERIDIAN HCM HOLDING INC. 1.56% 57.66 Delayed Quote.-45.63%
CITIGROUP INC. -1.52% 53.3 Delayed Quote.-10.43%
COINBASE GLOBAL, INC. 4.65% 73.54 Delayed Quote.-72.31%
COVENANT LOGISTICS GROUP, INC. 2.31% 22.2 Delayed Quote.-18.12%
CS DISCO, INC. 4.98% 26.64 Delayed Quote.-29.23%
DEUTSCHE BANK AG -0.21% 10.392 Delayed Quote.-5.48%
DOLLAR GENERAL CORPORATION 2.33% 227.4 Delayed Quote.-5.81%
DTE ENERGY COMPANY 0.33% 133.65 Delayed Quote.11.28%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) -0.04% 1.0727 Delayed Quote.-6.01%
EVERCORE INC. 2.24% 114.34 Delayed Quote.-17.67%
EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION 1.17% 97.76 Delayed Quote.57.93%
FIVE9, INC. 3.52% 102.18 Delayed Quote.-28.12%
FORWARD AIR CORPORATION 0.16% 94.09 Delayed Quote.-23.53%
GILEAD SCIENCES, INC. -0.26% 64.31 Delayed Quote.-11.21%
HURCO COMPANIES, INC. -0.97% 26.52 Delayed Quote.-9.83%
INDIAN RUPEE / US DOLLAR (INR/USD) 0.04% 0.012884 Delayed Quote.-3.94%
MORGAN STANLEY 0.91% 85.8 Delayed Quote.-13.41%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (NZD/USD) 0.80% 0.65318 Delayed Quote.-5.22%
PIPER SANDLER COMPANIES 1.49% 130.08 Delayed Quote.-28.20%
RITE AID CORPORATION 7.06% 5.824 Delayed Quote.-64.06%
S&P 500 2.12% 4144.01 Real-time Quote.-14.86%
THE GREENBRIER COMPANIES, INC. 3.74% 41.86 Delayed Quote.-13.71%
WELLS FARGO & COMPANY 0.03% 45.64 Delayed Quote.-4.96%
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