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5 things to know before the stock market opens on Friday, May 3


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  • Apple agreed to buy back $110 billion worth of stock, the largest amount ever for a public company.
  • Friday’s jobs report is expected to show that hiring has maintained a rapid pace.
  • AI people say there’s a dark side to the push for new technology.

Here are the most important news investors need to start their trading day:

Signs at a career fair at Brunswick Community College in Bolivia, North Carolina, United States, on Thursday, April 11, 2024.

Alison Joyce | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The April jobs report due at 8:30 a.m. EST on Friday will likely show that hiring continued at a rapid pace. Nonfarm payrolls are expected to show an increase of 240,000 for the month, according to Dow Jones estimates, which also expect the unemployment rate to remain steady at 3.8%. Markets will also be closely watching wage numbers, which are estimated to show average hourly earnings growth of 0.3% month-on-month – close to March’s move – and a 4% annual increase. “I don’t expect to see big surprises this month based on what I’m seeing on the ground,” said Amy Glaser, senior vice president of business operations at job site Adecco. “But we’ve been surprised before.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook follows a conversation about mental health, during a couple’s program on the final day of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Week at Apple Park in San Francisco, California, on November 17, 2023.

Andrew Caballero Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

Apple announced its largest stock buyback ever on Thursday, the largest ever for a public company. The technology giant said its board of directors authorized $110 billion worth of stock buybacks, an increase of 22% from last year’s authorization of $90 billion. The announcement came as Apple reported second-quarter earnings that beat expectations, but showed total revenue falling by 4%. Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC’s Steve Kovach that year-over-year sales suffered from a tough comparison to the same period last year. Apple also said that iPhone sales fell by 10%, indicating weak demand for its latest generation of phones.

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A view of a water tank at Paramount Studios as SAG-AFTRA members walk the picket line outside during their ongoing strike, in Los Angeles, California, US, September 26, 2023.

Mario Anzoni | Reuters

The saga of Paramount’s future continues. Sony Pictures and private equity firm Apollo Global Management have sent a letter to Paramount’s board of directors expressing formal interest in executing a $26 billion acquisition of the company. The offer comes as Skydance Media waits to hear back from Paramount’s special committee on whether it will recommend a takeover bid to controlling shareholder Shari Redstone. Skydance and Paramount have an exclusive window for talks that ends Friday, but could be extended. Some investors were keen for the board to take on Apollo and Sony rather than accept the Skydance deal because all common shareholders would receive a premium for their shares.

Just_super | E+ | Getty Images

There is a dark side to the AI ​​gold rush. Workers at major technology companies, including Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft, say they face pressure to work under accelerated schedules while chasing competitors. Several AI engineers, who spoke to CNBC’s Hayden Field anonymously for fear of retaliation, said they are experiencing burnout because this pressure to keep up has come to define their jobs. Workers also said they worry that companies care little about technology’s impact on climate change, surveillance and other potential real harms.

— CNBC’s Samantha Sobin, Jeff Cox, Kev Lesswing, Julia Boorstin, Alex Sherman, Lillian Rizzo and Hayden Field contributed to this report.

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