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North American Morning Briefing : Stock Futures -2-

12/02/2021 | 05:57am EST

Oil held gains of more than 1% in Europe as investors awaited signals from OPEC on what policy it will take into its ministerial summit with non-cartel allies.

Previous OPEC+ policy had been to raise production by 400,000 barrels a day in January. Now, with Omicron and recent U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve releases, analysts expect no action this month. "The combination of both these forces will be enough to push OPEC+ to pause its monthly output hikes for one month," said MUFG's Ehsan Khoman.

Gold prices weakened around 0.7%, with Jerome Powell's comments on tapering prompting investors to exit gold exchange traded funds.

Gold ETFs tracked by FactSet registered net outflows just shy of $170 million on Wednesday. The outflows came in the wake of Powell's comments that the tapering of stimulus measures could happen faster, opening the door to earlier rate hikes.

TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES

WeWork to Restate Results Due to Classification Error With Its SPAC Acquirer

WeWork Inc. said in a securities filing that it would restate several quarters of its results, including its latest one, and that management has concluded there was a material weakness in its internal control.

The office-sharing company, which went public in October through a combination with BowX Acquisition Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company, said Wednesday that the reinstatement relates to accounting classification of common shares issued as part of BowX's initial public offering.

FAA Chief Steve Dickson Takes On Fight Over 5G and Aviation Safety

In the battle over new 5G wireless service and aviation safety, a decision that could disrupt U.S. air travel will come down to a regulator known for methodical reviews and a cautious streak.

Over more than two years as the nation's top aviation regulator, Steve Dickson's approach to safety at the Federal Aviation Administration has created obstacles for companies including Boeing Co., as well as Pentagon officials.

Macau Casinos Shut High-Roller Rooms Tied to Arrested Operator

HONG KONG-Macau's casinos have shut down the VIP rooms of the city's largest junket operator, and its leader, Alvin Chau, has resigned following his arrest on illegal gambling and money-laundering allegations.

Casino operators informed Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau that they have ended their relationship with the junket operator known as Suncity, and suspended its rooms for high rollers starting on Dec. 1, the regulator said in a statement late Wednesday.

Disney Elects Susan Arnold as Board Chairman, Replacing Robert Iger

Walt Disney Co.'s board of directors has elected Susan Arnold its new chairman, replacing Robert Iger, the longtime chief executive who is set to depart from the company later this month.

Ms. Arnold, whose career in business has included positions at the Carlyle Group Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co., has been a Disney board member since 2007 and is to become chairman on Dec. 31. She most recently served as its lead independent director.

GlaxoSmithKline Says Sotrovimab Antibody Retains Activity Against Omicron

GlaxoSmithKline PLC said Thursday that preclinical data shows its Sotrovimab antibody retains its effectiveness against key mutations found in the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The British pharmaceutical major said that the data was created through pseudo-virus testing of specific individual mutations found in the variant, and to date Sotrovimab has demonstrated persistent activity against all tested variants of concern and interest defined by the World Health Organization.

Novartis Says Top Drugs Should Fuel Sales Growth Through 2026

Novartis AG said Thursday ahead of its research-and-development day starting later today that it expects sales to keep growing in the mid-term mainly thanks to its main in-market growth drivers, while several new assets could be approved by 2026.

The Swiss pharma giant said that sales should continue to rise at a compound annual growth rate of at least 4% through 2026, driven by multi-billion dollar sales from its medicines Cosentyx, Entresto, Kesimpta, Zolgensma, Kisqali and Leqvio.

Low Initial Jobless Claims Reflect Tight Labor Market

The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits is expected to have remained near pandemic lows last week as employers continued to hold on to their workers in a tight labor market.

Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, are expected to total a seasonally adjusted 240,000 for the week that ended on Nov. 26, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal, following the prior week's report showing the lowest number of new claims in 52 years.

Bond Investors Bet on Low Peak Interest Rates

U.S. government-bond yields have climbed a lot this year. Some analysts are concerned that they haven't risen even further.

The reason is that the world has moved closer with each passing month to the day when investors think that the Federal Reserve will raise its benchmark federal-funds rate above its current level near zero.

Derby's Take: Fed Taper Not Taking Wind Out of Treasury Market's Sails

The performance of the Treasury bond market over recent weeks is again suggesting that the idea of a clear link between the central bank's asset buying and the movement of yields remains tenuous.

In the time the Fed has employed bond purchases to bolster the economy, an unorthodox strategy during the financial crisis and its aftermath now elevated to a normal part of the monetary-policy toolkit, economists have struggled to measure what the central bank gets for its buying.

Turkey's Erdogan Names Loyalist as Finance Minister Amid Lira Rout

ISTANBUL-Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan named a loyalist as the country's new finance minister Thursday, after the incumbent resigned over clashes with the longtime leader's unconventional economic policies that have intensified a currency crisis shaking the country.

Nureddin Nebati, a former deputy finance minister, replaces Lütfi Elvan at the top of the finance ministry.

Biden to Toughen Testing for International Travelers to Slow Omicron

WASHINGTON-President Biden plans to tighten up Covid-19 testing timelines for travelers entering the U.S. and extend a mask mandate on airplanes and other public transportation as part of a broad administration effort to combat the Omicron variant.

International travelers coming to the U.S. will have to test within a day of departure, regardless of vaccination status, rather than the 72 hours currently required for vaccinated travelers, under new protocols early next week, senior administration officials said. The new testing rules will apply both to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals entering the country.

U.S. and South Korea to Update Wartime Plans for North Korea

SEOUL-The U.S. and South Korea said they would update their joint wartime contingency plans for North Korea, as the Kim Jong Un regime has kept pursuing military advances amid a stall in nuclear talks.

During a visit to Seoul, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, alongside his South Korean counterpart, approved an update to the strategic guidance used for wartime operation plans, a document that hadn't been updated since 2010. The precise nature of the review, or what might change, wasn't immediately disclosed.

California Prepares for More Water Restrictions as Drought Worsens

Californians may face new restrictions, including fines for improperly washing their cars, as the state prepares to virtually eliminate the water it supplies to local communities as it grapples with an unrelenting drought.

The state's Department of Water Resources said Wednesday that for the first time it is preparing to allocate 0% of the water it is contracted to give next year to local districts, which handle what goes into the taps of homes, businesses and farms. That means that unless drought conditions ease, no supplies will be shipped except for critical health and safety needs, such as drinking water and sanitation.

Illinois Abortion Clinics Are Preparing for a Potential Post-Roe World

As the Supreme Court weighs a case that could chip away at federal abortion protections under Roe v. Wade, providers in Illinois are preparing for a potential surge of patients.

The case before the high court, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, centers on abortion restrictions enacted hundreds of miles away in Mississippi. But in its brief, Mississippi took direct aim at the 1973 Roe decision, arguing the ruling tramples states' rights. The justices heard oral arguments Wednesday, and several conservative justices signaled they might be receptive to the state's arguments. A decision is expected no later than next summer.

Write to paul.larkins@dowjones.com TODAY IN CANADA

Earnings:

Canadian Imperial Bank 4Q

Major Drilling 2Q

Toronto-Dominion Bank 4Q

Economic Indicators:

None scheduled

Stocks to Watch:

PHX Energy Services: Board of Directors Approves a C$10M Increase to 2022 Cap Expenditure Program; Anticipates Spending C$40M in Cap Expenditures During 2022-Yr

Expected Major Events for Thursday

05:00/JPN: Nov Consumer Confidence Survey

09:00/ITA: Oct Unemployment

11:00/FRA: Oct OECD CPI

12:30/US: Nov Challenger Job-Cut Report

13:00/RUS: Weekly International Reserves

13:30/US: 11/27 Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report - Initial Claims

13:30/US: U.S. Weekly Export Sales

14:45/US: Consumer Comfort Index

15:00/US: Oct Metropolitan Area Employment & Unemployment

15:30/US: 11/26 EIA Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

17:00/US: Nov Monthly U.S. Retail Chain Store Sales Index

21:30/US: Foreign Central Bank Holdings

21:30/US: Federal Discount Window Borrowings

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

Expected Earnings for Thursday

Asana Inc (ASAN) is expected to report for 3Q.

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

12-02-21 0556ET

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