U.S. Job Creation Picked Up In May But Still Below Expectations

Plus, another Elon Musk tweet is sending Bitcoin lower today, Facebook was hit with two new antitrust probs, and Bill Ackman’s SPAC said it is in talks to buy 10% of Universal Music.

Stocks were higher at the open on Friday with the Dow adding 42 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 rose by 0.3%, while the Nasdaq gained 0.6%.

Job creation came in below expectations for May. The Labor Department reported nonfarm payrolls rose by 559,000 last month, while economists had expected a reading of 671,000, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.8%. “Economists have been a little overly optimistic about the pace of which we’re moving here. It takes a while for people to get jobs,” said Kathy Jones, head of fixed income at Charles Schwab. “For the stock market, there’s no reason for the Fed to move too quickly, and therefore that’s also good news for the bond market.” Michelle Meyer, head of U.S. economics at Bank of America, said, “On the surface, yes, the jobs number were strong, a half million jobs is obviously a good thing, but given where we are in the economy, all else equal it could have been stronger. The fact that it wasn’t is likely a function in large part to supply constraints and labor shortages.”

Bitcoin was thrust back into the limelight this morning, falling as low as $35,593 after Elon Musk tweeted “#Bitcoin” with a broken heart emoji and a reference to a lyric by Linkin Park suggesting he’s fallen out of love with the world’s largest cryptocurrency. This isn’t the first time Musk has roiled Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with a tweet. Last month, Musk tweeted that Tesla had “suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin” out of concern over “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions,” sending the cryptocurrency dropping lower. That, plus harsh regulatory rhetoric out of China, led to a plunge across the board in the sector.

Not to be outdone, AMC shares are bouncing between gains and losses today. The stock is up nearly 4% at the time of writing after dropping 18% in the previous session. AMC is up 162% over the last week. “AMC took the best possible path of action and used the bloated share price to raise lots of capital for its own purposes,” and Joachim Klement, a strategist at Liberum. “Meme stock investors need the share price to be volatile and the stock to make headlines because if the attention disappears, so does their investment.”

Facebook was hit with new antitrust probes in the U.K. and EU. The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority said it is investigating whether Facebook is abusing a dominant position in the social media or digital advertising markets through its collection and use of ad data, while The European Commission said it is opening a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether the social media giant breached its rules “by using advertising data gathered in particular from advertisers in order to compete with them in markets where Facebook is active such as classified ads.” “Facebook collects vast troves of data on the activities of users of its social network and beyond,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition chief, adding that EU regulators “will look in detail at whether this gives Facebook an undue advantage in particular on the online classified ads sector, where people buy and sell goods every day.”

And Bill Ackman’s blank-check company, Pershing Square Tontine Holdngs, is in talks to buy 10% of Universal Music Group for around $4 billion. The deal values Universal Music at around $42.4 billion. “Universal Music Group is one of the greatest businesses in the world,” Ackman said in a press release. “Led by Sir Lucian Grainge, it has one of the most outstanding management teams that I have ever encountered. Importantly, UMG meets all of our acquisition criteria and investment principles as it is the world’s leading music company, with royalty on the growing global demand for music. We are delighted to work with Vivendi on this iconic transaction, and look forward to its consummation.”

Stocks We’re Watching

SilverSun Technologies Inc (NASDAQ: SSNT): SilverSun Technologies shares jumped 18% yesterday after the company announced that its subsidiary, SWK Technologies, received the Avalara Top Partner Award for 2021 in the systems integrator category. “The award was granted to SWK for achieving the highest number of sales while demonstrating a passion for solution implementation, customer engagement and growth,” SilverSun and SWK Technologies CEO Mark Meller said in a statement. “Our year-over-year growth, commissionable billings and high level of advocacy and customer engagement were the basis upon which we were recognized. Our sales and consulting organization continues to deliver outstanding results across our platform and product lines, and we are pleased to be recognized for our continued sales and customer engagement achievements.”