By Noreen Burke
Investing.com — Sheryl Sandberg is leaving Meta Platforms after 14 years. Elon Musk issues an ultimatum to Tesla employees. Oil slides on reports that Saudi Arabia may ramp up production in response to urging from the United States. OPEC is to meet and U.S. stocks are set for a higher open but concerns over the economic outlook linger. Data on initial jobless claims and private sector hiring are due. Here’s what you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, June 2.
Sandberg to leave Meta Platforms
Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:FB) Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced in a Facebook post late Wednesday that she is leaving the company after 14 years.
The announcement initially sent Meta’s shares down 4%, before the stock erased the losses in after-hours trade.
Chief Growth Officer Javier Olivan will take over as chief operating officer, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a separate Facebook post, but he added that he did not plan to replace Sandberg’s role directly within the company’s existing structure.
Sandberg’s departure marks an end of an era for Meta, which is shifting focus toward hardware products and the “metaverse” after years of scandals over privacy abuses and the spread of conspiratorial content on its platforms, as well as plateauing user growth on its flagship app Facebook.
Musk WFH ultimatum
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has issued an ultimatum to workers at the electric car company, calling on them to return to the office for 40 hours per week or resign, according to a leaked email.
“Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week,” Musk wrote in the email sent on Tuesday night.
“If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned.”
Musk, who has agreed to take Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) private in a $44 billion deal, responded to a screenshot of the leaked emails via Twitter saying, “They should pretend to work somewhere else.”
Twitter’s remote work policy could now be under threat. The tech company was among the first to declare a work-from-home-forever policy in the initial days of the pandemic.
3. Stocks muted, CrowdStrike eyed
U.S. stock markets are seen opening higher later even as market sentiment remained downbeat a day after JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon warned that the U.S. economy is facing a “hurricane” caused by the Federal Reserve and the war in Ukraine. He added that his company is “going to be very conservative with our balance sheet.”
Stocks likely to be in focus later include online pet product retailer Chewy (NYSE:CHWY) which surged in after-hours trade following quarterly earnings that came in ahead of expectations, while Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) reported slight misses in both earnings and revenue.
Earnings from big tech names Crowdstrike Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:CRWD) and Asana Inc (NYSE:ASAN) are due after the close, along with results from retailers Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU), Designer Brands (NYSE:DBI) and RH (NYSE:RH).
Jobless claims, ADP
The Labor Department will provide the most important data point with its weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 AM ET. ADP will release data on private sector hiring at 8:15 AM ET.
The employment data is coming ahead of Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report for May with economists expecting the economy to have added 320,000 jobs last month. While still firm, it would represent the smallest jobs growth in around a year as the labor market transitions to more moderate growth as the effects of the pandemic fade.
Investors have been watching economic data closely for clues as to what it might mean for interest rates.
Meanwhile, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is due to speak later, a day after St. Louis Fed President James Bullard called for further aggressive rate hikes to bring down inflation, adding that rates could be cut late next year or in 2024.
Oil slides; OPEC meeting, EIA data in focus
Oil prices fell around 2% following reports that Saudi Arabia could ramp up oil production to offset a decline in Russia’s output in response to a call from the U.S.
Russia’s oil exports have been hit by U.S. and European Union sanctions imposed in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
Energy traders were also eyeing an OPEC+ meeting to discuss supply policy for any indications on production plans. OPEC is expected to stick to its plans for modest monthly increases in oil output, despite tighter global markets.
Brent was down $2.57, or 2.2% to $113.72 a barrel by 05:31 AM ET (0931GMT), having risen 0.6% the previous day, while U.S. crude fell $2.65, or 2.3%, to $112.51 a barrel, after a 0.5% rise on Wednesday.
The Energy Information Administration’s data on U.S. stockpiles are due at 11:00 AM ET, a day later than usual due to the Memorial Day holiday.
–Reuters contributed to this report