MONDAY – U.S. stocks were lower Monday, with the market perhaps worried about what is likely to be a tougher earnings season.
At around 8:35 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a negative open of more than 100 points. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were both marginally lower.
Market focus is largely attuned to corporate results, with major U.S. banks set to get the ball rolling later in the week.
Analysts have warned that the upcoming earnings season could be the first quarter of contracting corporate results since 2016.
J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo are both set to report their latest figures on Friday.
Before that, minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting are due to be released on Wednesday.
Following the Fed’s most recent meeting in March, the central bank decided to maintain interest rates and hold off on any further increases this year.
On the data front, factory orders for February will be published at around 10 a.m. ET.
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SUNDAY – Stocks posted their second weekly rise on Friday as stocks were boosted by better-than-expected jobs data and progress on the U.S.-China trade front.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both rose about 2% this week, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.7%. On Friday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed up by 0.5% and 0.6%, respectively.
Materials and financials were the best-performing sectors this week, rising 4.3% and 3.3%, respectively. Bank shares led the gains in financials. Morgan Stanley rose more than 6% this week, while Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Citigroup all ended the week up more than 5%.
The U.S. economy added 196,000 jobs in March, according to data released on Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected 175,000. The U.S. unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained at 3.8%. However, wage growth expanded 3.2% just below an expected gain of 3.4%.
Wall Street was looking forward to this report after the previous jobs data showed growth of just 20,000. That number was revised higher to 33,000 on Friday.
Friday’s strong jobs report comes after the release of disappointing economic data earlier in the week. Activity in the U.S. services sector fell to its lowest level since August 2017 while payrolls data released on Wednesday was also below expectations.
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WEDNESDAY – Stocks fell on Wednesday as investors sought further indications that a trade deal between China and the U.S. could be reached in the near future.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average pulled back 75 points as Exxon Mobile and Walgreens Boots Alliance lagged. The S&P 500 dipped 0.4 percent, led by declines in energy and health care. The Nasdaq Composite declined 0.5 percent.
Stocks are off to a hot start this year, with the S&P 500 rising more than 11 percent through Tuesday’s close. Increasing expectations that a trade deal will get done have partly helped equities surge in 2019.
However, there is growing fear that an agreement may be fully priced in, possibly limiting any more gains from positive trade news.
Recently, the S&P 500 has had trouble making a significant break above 2,800, a key level being watched by investors. The broad index closed above that level on Friday, but fell back below it this week.
Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit increased to a 10-year high of $59.8 billion despite the administration’s efforts to reduce the number. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected the number to increase to $57.3 billion.
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