What's moving markets today: December 4, 2019

By CNN Business

Updated 6:33 p.m. ET, December 4, 2019
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9:13 a.m. ET, December 4, 2019

Private sector jobs grow far slower than expected

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

America's private sector added fewer than half the number of jobs economists expected in November.

Only 67,000 new positions were created, according to the ADP employment report. That's compared with the 140,000 jobs economists surveyed by Refinitiv had forecast. It was the lowest number of jobs added since May, when only 46,000 positions were added, according to ADP.

This doesn't bode well for Friday's jobs report. Even though the two data points are not perfectly correlated, investors look to ADP numbers as an indicator for the Bureau of Labor Statistics' report on the employment situation.

8:16 a.m. ET, December 4, 2019

US stock futures point to a higher open

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

After three straight days of losses, US stocks are set to open higher on Wednesday, following a Bloomberg report that said the United States and China were moving closer to a trade deal despite the recent harsh rhetoric.

Futures for the Dow are up more than 150 points, or 0.6%. S&P 500 futures are up 0.5%, and Nasdaq Composite futures are up 0.6%.

It has been a wild ride for trade headlines this week. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said reaching a deal could take until after the 2020 presidential election, which spooked investors. The United States also proposed tariffs on French imports in response to a digital tax that would hit many American companies, and refreshed the threat of aluminum and steel tariffs on Brazilian and Argentine imports.

7:16 a.m. ET, December 4, 2019

Without a trade deal, Wall Street can forget its 2020 forecasts 

From CNN Business' Julia Horowitz

Wall Street has issued binders full of 2020 forecasts in recent days, and the consensus is clear: Strategists expect the global economy to remain subdued in 2020, with GDP growth only marginally stronger than in 2019.

Even so, banks are betting that stocks will keep pushing higher. Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC) thinks the S&P 500 can hit 3,300, a rise of nearly 7% over Tuesday's close. Goldman Sachs (GS) expects the index to reach 3,400, a 10% jump.

But the predictions rely in large part on a deescalation of the trade war between the United States and China. This is expected to boost investor sentiment and remove a drag on the world economy.

See here: Bank of America sees global GDP growth increasing to 3.2% in 2020, from 3.1% in 2019. That's based on an assumption that "the US and China will reach a partial trade deal in the next few weeks or months."

The bank acknowledges that nothing is certain. "While a deal is our base case, we cannot rule out the risk of a breakdown in negotiations," strategists warned clients. "We still see a wide gap in trust between the two sides."

But if US President Donald Trump delays a deal until after the 2020 presidential election — as he threatened to do in London on Tuesday — it's safe to say that hundreds of pages of annual Wall Street forecasts will quickly become outdated. 

Read more here.

6:37 a.m. ET, December 4, 2019

Asian stocks suffer as worries grow about US-China trade deal

From CNN Business' Laura He

Asian stocks mostly suffered sharp losses on Wednesday, as investors become more anxious about the prospect of the United States and China reaching a deal to end the trade war.

  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng (HSI) ended down 1.3%, the leading decliner among major markets in Asia.
  • Japan's Nikkei 225 (N225closed 1.1% lower.
  • China's Shanghai Composite (SHCOMPshed 0.2%.

Beijing warned that Tuesday's passage of a bill in the US House of Representatives calling for sanctions on China over reports of mass detention centers in Xinjiang would affect bilateral relations in "important areas."

Read more here.

6:39 a.m. ET, December 4, 2019

Shakeup at Google's parent company

From CNN Business' Kaya Yurieff

Larry Page and Sergey Brin are relinquishing their executive roles at Google's parent company Alphabet (GOOGL).

Page and Brin are stepping down as CEO and president, respectively, of Alphabet, the company announced Tuesday.

Sundar Pichai, the current CEO of Google and a longtime executive at the company, will take over as CEO of Alphabet in addition to his current role.

The cofounders will continue to serve on Alphabet's board of directors. They also maintain voting control over the business, all but guaranteeing their ability to influence the direction of Alphabet with or without their executive titles.

Read more here.