5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday

Dow futures pointed to a 100-point decline at Friday's open, following Wall Street's four-session rally this week. Vote-counting, jobs data and spiking coronavirus cases are all factors for investors.

  • On Friday morning, Democrat Joe Biden jumped to a slim lead in Georgia and narrowed President Donald Trump's lead in Pennsylvania.
  • The government releases its October employment report at 8:30 a.m. ET, one hour before the stock market opens.
  • According to data from Johns Hopkins University, new U.S. Covid-19 cases Thursday surged to a single-day record of more than 120,000.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday rose 542 points or nearly 2%. The S&P 500 also climbed 2% while the Nasdaq advanced 2.6%. For the week so far, the Dow and S&P 500 were each up over 7% and the Nasdaq was up nearly 9%.

2. October jobs report out before the bell

Economists expected the government's latest monthly employment report to show nonfarm job growth of 530,000 positions in October. The nation's unemployment report is seen dropping to 7.7%. Nonfarm payrolls rose by a lower than expected 661,000 in September, with an unemployment rate of 7.9%.

The ADP's private-sector employment report, which has not be the best guide to the Labor Department's numbers lately, showed on Wednesday slower-than-expected job growth last month at U.S. corporations. On Thursday, initial jobless claims edged lower but remained well above pre-pandemic levels.

3. Biden pulls ahead in Georgia as Trump's path narrows

On the road to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, Biden was still 17 votes away. But in addition to pulling slightly ahead in Georgia, the former vice president led in Arizona and Nevada on Friday. The president's lead in Pennsylvania was narrowing. In the other battleground state yet to be called, Trump was still leading in North Carolina.

With multiple paths to the presidency, Biden has been urging patience with the vote counting, saying Thursday, "the process is working." By contrast, as Trump's chances for reelection appeared to dim further, the president Thursday leveled a barrage of election allegations without any evidence. NBC, ABC, and CBS all cut away during Trump's remarks.

4. Democrats blame Pelosi for GOP gaining House seats

Democrats will keep their House majority, according to NBC News. But after a series of rough early returns, the party will likely have fewer seats in January than it does now. House Democrats on Thursday cast blame on their election messaging and Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the stumbles. While the balance of power in the Senate remained too close to call, it does appear that Republicans will hold on to their majority. Several races are outstanding, but two Georgia runoffs could tip the scales.

5. New daily Covid-19 cases in U.S. top 120,000 for first time

The U.S. recorded 121,888 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, the highest single-day increase ever. New daily infections topped 100,000 for the first time Wednesday, with 102,831 confirmed. Even the seven-day average was nearing 95,000 new daily cases, an almost 24% increase from the previous seven-day period. Twenty-seven states hit record high new cases Thursday. The U.S. has over 9.6 million total Covid-19 cases, with deaths from the disease approaching 235,000.

— NBC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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