Still bruised by the weak March jobs reports, markets are watching Thursday’s weekly jobless claims to see if the trend towards job growth remains intact.
Reported Friday, the March employment reportshowed a gain of just 120,000 nonfarm payrolls, well below the 203,000 expected and about half the average nonfarm payrolls added during the prior three months. Economists blamed a payback from employers hiring during the warm winter, when seasonal employees, such as construction workers, were able to work during normally cold months.
“Claims are going to be interesting because there’s a lot of skeptics who are thinking we’re seeing a rerun of last year where you saw claims and other employment data do very well until March and then get very choppy and go sideways. They’re going to watch and see if that’s the case,” said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS.
Cashin said the markets will also continue watching officials from the Federal Reserve, with four speaking Thursday, after several other speeches this week. “There’s a saloonful of them, and then again on Friday,” said Cashin, noting the market is watching both Fed hawks and doves. “So far, everybody’s playing his own part, and there’s been no surprises.”
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