FRIDAY – U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday, erasing an earlier decline after the release of the latest U.S. jobs report.
The U.S. economy added 136,000 jobs in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected an increase of 145,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, a 50-year low, but wages grew at a slower-than-expected pace last month.
Treasury yields briefly jumped before giving back those gains. The 10-year yield last traded at 1.53% after hitting 1.55%.
Wall Street will be watching speeches by Fed officials later in the day, including Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren.
came into Friday’s session on pace to record large losses for the week.
The Dow was down 2.3% through Thursday’s close while the S&P 500
had lost 1.7%. The Nasdaq was down 0.9% week to date.
Those weekly losses came after a dismal U.S. manufacturing data report sparked fears of a potential recession in the U.S. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, the Dow lost more than 800 points.
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THURSDAY – Stocks were little changed at Thursday’s open as stronger-than-expected economic data were offset by talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un falling through.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell just 11 points while the S&P 500 dipped around 0.1 percent. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2 percent.
The U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter 2018, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Economists polled by Dow Jones expected the economy to grow at a pace of 2.2 percent.
Investors were closely watching the summit in Vietnam as it could potentially impact trade negotiations between China and the U.S.
On Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified in front of House members that China needed to do more than just buy more U.S. goods for the two countries to strike a permanent trade deal. But Lighthizer said after the testimony, according to The Wall Street Journal, that formal steps would be taken to abandon plans of raising tariffs on Chinese goods.
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Hope springs eternal among most stock strategists and Jeremy Zirin, chief equity strategist at UBS Wealth Management, is no exception. Zirin expects moderate gains in stocks this year and says the market will “continue to grind higher as the economy starts to improve.”
There are increasing signs that the economy is improving. The four-week moving average for initial unemployment claims has fallen to its lowest level since March 2008 and the housing market continues to gain momentum. Home prices and new home sales recently posted their biggest gains in 2.5 years and builder confidence has risen to its highest level in more than 6.5 years.
Zirin forecasts GDP growth of 2% to 2.5% this year. Growth will accelerate as Washington adopts new fiscal policies, says Zirin.