5 Things to Know Before Markets Open

News of the day for April 5, 2023

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New private payroll jobs came in below expectation in March and shares of Johnson & Johnson are rising in pre-market trading after news of a settlement on legal claims over its talc products. Here’s what investors need to know today.

1. Private Payroll Jobs Come in Lower than Expectations

Payroll provider ADP released its National Employment Report for March showing the economy added 145,000 private sector jobs in March, fewer than the 200,000 economists expected.

2. J&J Shares Move Higher on Talc Settlement Plan

Shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) are rising over 3% in pre-market trading after the consumer and pharmaceutical giant announced plans to settle its legal claims over its talc products for $8.9 billion. In a press release, J&J said that its subsidiary, LTL Management, would refile for bankruptcy protection and be funded with $8.9 billion over 25 years to cover liabilities over claims that its talcum powder causes cancer.

3. Ford Sales Higher on Demand for EVs, Stronger Supply Chain

Ford Motor posted a 10.1% rise in first quarter U.S. auto sales fueled by demand for electric vehicles as supply chain disruptions eased. The automaker joins other global rivals in reporting a rise in sales, as the industry gets more of their vehicles to dealers and customers in the quarter.

4. DOJ Charges Frank Founder with Fraud

The Justice Department charged the founder of college financial-aid company Frank with fraud in connection with the company’s sale to JPMorgan Chase in September of 2021. The DOJ says Charlie Javice was arrested amid charges she allegedly inflated the company’s customer count to trick the bank into a $175 million deal.

5. New Zealand Central Bank Hikes Rates

New Zealand’s central bank hiked interest rates by 50 basis points to 5.25%. The surprise move strengthened the New Zealand dollar and sent stocks there lower.

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  1. CNBC. “Private payrolls rose by 145,000 in March, well below expectations, ADP says.”

  2. Reuters. “J&J unit files for second bankruptcy to pursue $8.9 billion talc settlement.”

  3. Detroit News: “Ford sales up 10.1% in first quarter, cedes No. 2 EV position to rival GM.”

  4. CNBC. “Frank founder criminally charged with fraud over $175 million JPMorgan deal.”

  5. Reuters. “RBNZ stuns market with bigger rate rise, more tightening seen.”

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