US stocks set to decline after massive March jobs decline

logo

Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes fell on Friday after the U.S. government reported a sharp decline in jobs for last month. 

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 88 points, implying an opening loss of about 79 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also traded lower.

U.S. payrolls fell by 701,000 in March, marking the worst jobs report since 2009, while the unemployment rate jumped to 4.4%. However, the report failed to capture the full extent of the economic blow being dealt by the coronavirus outbreak. On Thursday, the Labor Department said jobless claims jumped by a record of 6.6 million for the week of March 27.

IHS Markit PMIs are also set for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.

The decline in stock futures was mitigated by a 12.4% rally in crude, which added to oil’s record rally from the previous session. West Texas Intermediate futures soared 24% on Thursday for their best day ever, lifting the major stock indexes. However, U.S. crude remains about 50% lower for the year despite those sharp gains. 

The Dow and S&P 500 rallied more than 2% each on Thursday. However, the major indexes were still headed for their third weekly loss in four. Entering Friday’s session, the Dow was down 1% while the S&P 500 had slipped 0.6%.

“Trends have now been Sideways for US and European equities for the last seven trading sessions, despite the massive swings,” said Mark Newton, managing member at Newton Advisors, in a note. “Gains have consolidated, but have not given way to much weakness that is sufficient to expect an immediate test of low.”

Both the Dow and S&P 500 remain more than 25% below their respective all-time highs set in February as jitters over the spread of COVID-19 foster volatile trading on Wall Street.

There have been more than 245,000 confirmed infections in the United States and more than 6,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Globally, more than 1 million cases have been confirmed. 

Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.

Related Articles

Responses

Your email address will not be published.