Virgin Galactic, Didi, Krispy Kreme: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens Today

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The battle for space-tourism primacy is heating up, shares of recent IPOs are zig-zagging, and data showed the U.S. labor market heated up in June after a spring lull. Here’s what we’re watching ahead of Friday’s opening bell.

  • Futures tied to the S&P 500 inched up 0.3%, putting the index on track to post gains for the week. Contracts tied to the tech heavy Nasdaq-100 climbed 0.6%. Read our full market wrap here.
  • The U.S. added 850,000 jobs in June and the jobless rate was 5.9%.
What’s Coming Up
  • The U.S. bond market will close early on Friday, at 2 p.m. ET, in advance of Independence Day. All U.S. markets will be closed Monday in observance of the holiday.
Market Movers to Watch
  • The term “space race” has not historically been a reference to Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos. But with just weeks to go before Blue Origin’s Mr. Bezos was going to be the first space company leader to launch himself into the heavens, Mr. Branson decided he wasn’t playing second fiddle to anybody. Investors appear to like his moxie. Virgin Galactic shares rocketed 22% higher premarket.
  • But Messrs. Branson and Bezos aren’t hogging all the space-based market action. Astra Space , which just began trading on Thursday through a SPAC deal, was up 3.6% premarket.
  • And speaking of going public, a couple of this week’s big IPOs are bouncing around ahead of the bell. Krispy Kreme became a publicly traded company for the second time in its history this week, and its shares soared 24% on their first day. But Friday morning investors were losing their sweet tooth, dragging the shares down 5% premarket.
  • Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Global shares are taking a topsy-turvy ride. The company started trading in New York on Wednesday, and managed to eke out a small rise on its first day. Then on Thursday the stock jumped 16%. This morning it’s down 8.9% ahead of the bell.
  • Tat Technologies , with a market cap of just $52.9 million, soared 72% ahead of the bell. The Israeli aerospace and defense company signed an additional new strategic deal with Honeywell .
  • Marin Software ended last week at less than $4 a share. Having surged throughout the week in up-and-down trade, it’s currently up to more than $20 premarket. And what has caused investors to pour into the stock, more than quintupling the price, with pauses due to volatility along the way? Well, the company said last week its flagship MarinOne platform is now able to manage Instacart Ads. It’s also a trending ticker on Stocktwits.
  • Some of the original meme stocks are still among the most-searched tickers, but that’s not leading to big price swings. GameStop is up 0.5%, and AMC Entertainment is down 1.7%.
Market Facts
  • The Euro Stoxx Banks index has rebounded sharply since late 2020 and is up almost 30% this year, compared with 15% in the Euro Stoxx 50 blue-chip index.
  • Global food prices rose 4.8% in May from the previous month, the biggest monthly increase since 2010, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Prices in May were nearly 40% higher than a year earlier and the FAO’s food-price index was at its highest level since 2011.
  • On this day in 1890, in a backlash against the monopolistic excesses of the “robber barons,” the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, authorizing the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate and break up giant industrial monopolies, became law.
Chart of the Day
  • Issuance of new blank-check companies has slowed down as a result of new accounting guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Write to James Willhite at james.willhite@wsj.com

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