5 things you should know before the stock market opens on Friday
Here are the top news, trends, and analysis that investors need to get their trading day started:
1. The Dow will rise after the steep sell-off on Thursday
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
The Dow futures initially fell lower and then rose higher on Friday after the government reported significantly better-than-expected job growth in February. Shares rebounded, although bond yields rose even further. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell failed to reassure investors Thursday that the central bank would keep rising bond yields and inflation in check.
The Dow closed 345 points, or 1.1%, lower Thursday in a wild session that saw the average of the 30 stocks more than double what it was on any notch. The S&P 500 fell 1.3%. The Nasdaq was the big loser that day, falling more than 2% to close nearly 10% of its record high on February 12th. The index also turned negative over the course of the year. At the close of trading on Thursday, the Dow and S&P 500 held on to weak gains of 2021.
2. Employers created more than expected jobs in February
The Department of Labor reported Friday morning that the U.S. economy created 379,000 new jobs in February, well above projections of 210,000 non-farm pay hikes. The unemployment rate fell to 6.2% and was thus slightly below the estimate of 6.3%. Almost all of the last month’s job gains came from the ailing leisure and hospitality sector, which added 355,000 jobs as some states began easing restrictions on restaurants in Covid in some areas.
3. The yield on 10-year government bonds hit a new 1-year high
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on December 1, 2020.
Al Drago | Pool | Reuters
The 10-year government bond yield rose higher on Friday, trading above 1.62% and hitting a new one-year high before pulling back a little. Yields have risen rapidly since the end of January, fueling inflation fears. Powell has done little to address these concerns, admitting that he sees some inflationary pressures ahead. However, he also said rising prices are unlikely to be enough to spur the Fed to hike rates. The market had been looking for Powell to more directly address the recent surge in bond yields, with a possible hint of an adjustment to the Fed’s asset purchase program.
4th Senate Approaches Covid Relief Bill Votes After GOP Delay
Members of the National Guard gather outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, United States on Thursday, March 4, 2021.
Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Senate debate over the Democrats’ $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus bailout continues as lawmakers seek to break a deadline to prevent a surge in federal unemployment benefits from draining. The Senate voted on Thursday to begin the bailout debate and set the stage for its approval this weekend under rules that allow it to be passed by a simple majority. Vice President Kamala Harris had to break a 50:50 tie after a party line in the evenly divided chamber. Once the Senate considered the bill, Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Forced the Chamber’s staff to read the entire 628-page move.
5. Connecticut among states easing some virus-related restrictions
Pharmacist Madeline Acquilano vaccinates public school safety officer Victor Rodriguez with the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut on March 3, 2021.
Joseph Precious | AFP | Getty Images
Connecticut will relax many Covid abatement restrictions for businesses, theaters, churches, and travel in two weeks. But Democratic Governor Ned Lamont said Thursday the nationwide mask mandate would remain in place. Connecticut is among many states that are easing virus restrictions, despite repeated warnings from health officials that opening too quickly could risk another deadly wave in the US. This week, the Republican governors of Mississippi and Texas went a step further and ended all Covid restrictions, including mask mandates.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all developments on Wall Street in real time with CNBC Pro’s live market blog. Find out about the latest pandemics on our coronavirus blog.