Thursday’s Market – 2 Poor Jobs Reports Torpedo the Ship
stock market downBy Kelly Barth:

A double dose of poor employment data has stock futures, which had been higher in the earlier going, giving back much ground. Both the monthly Job-Cuts Report and the Weekly Jobless Claims data proved soft today. This will likely raise concern about Friday’s Employment Situation Report and the general state of the economy. Our founder indicates factors point toward a down day for stocks today.

Overseas Markets
EURO STOXX 50 Unchanged NIKKEI 225 +2.2%
German DAX -0.1% Hang Seng -0.1%
CAC 40 Unchanged S&P/ASX 200 -0.9%
FTSE 100 -0.8% Korean KOSPI -1.2%
Greek ASE +0.9% BSE India SENSEX -1.6%

Japanese shares are higher and shares in the United Kingdom are lower after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) and Bank of England (BOE) monetary policy statements. Notably in Japan, the introduction of qualitative and quantitative monetary easing has the shares of Japanese exporters like Sony (NYSE: SNE), Toyota Motors (NYSE: TM) and others moving higher.

Economic Reports
Two more employment data points find the wire Thursday. First catch the Challenger, Gray & Christmas Job-Cuts Report. There was a bit of a pickup in announced corporate layoffs in February, to 55,356. The March report has no economists’ forecast to peg to. This data is often impacted by large layoff announcements at major companies. The financial sector dominated February’s layoffs, with J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) announcing large cuts. Still, industrial firms, especially defense companies, may take the baton soon. United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) announced 3,000 layoffs in March.

Weekly Initial Jobless Claims is due for report at 8:30. Last week’s report covering the period ending March 23 showed weekly claims increased by 16K to 357K. The four-week moving average for jobless claims increased 2,250 to 343K. If another increase follows, investor concern will heighten.

Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen speaks at the Sabew Spring Conference.

Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index deteriorated for the second straight week last week. The weekly measure of the consumer mood fell by 0.5, to a mark of -34.4. In relative news, last week offered the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which fell significantly. In a report published elsewhere, we said it served as a recession signal.

The EIA’s Natural Gas Report is due Thursday at 10:30 AM. Last week’s report covering the period ending March 22 showed working gas in storage fell by 95 Bcf. Stocks were 642 Bcf less than last year at this time, but still 61 Bcf above the five-year average for this time of year.

Commodity Markets (9:00 AM ET)
WTI Crude -1.2%
Brent Crude -0.7%
RBOB Gasoline -0.9%
NYMEX Natural Gas +0.6%
Gold Spot -0.3%
Silver Spot -0.4%
COMEX Copper -0.4%
CBOT Corn -0.7%
CBOT Wheat -1.0%
CBOT Soybeans -0.5%
ICE Sugar +0.8%
ICE Cocoa -1.7%
ICE Orange Juice Conc. -0.9%
CME Live Cattle Unch.

Corporate Events
The corporate wire has Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN) presenting at the Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) Retail & Restaurant Conference. Hanesbrands (NYSE: HBI) has its April investor meeting. American Water Works (NYSE: AWK) is presenting at the NAIC Better Investing Retail Investor Conference. Aruba Networks (Nasdaq: ARUN) is presenting at the Wells Fargo Tech Transformation Summit. The EPS slate highlights presentations by Franklin Covey (NYSE: FC), Greenbrier Companies (NYSE: GBX), International Speedway (Nasdaq: ISCA), WD-40 (Nasdaq: WDFC), Joseph A. Bank (Nasdaq: JOSB), RPM International (NYSE: RPM) and Xyratex (Nasdaq: XRTX).

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

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