News

US Stocks Hold Steady 04/03 09:56

4/3/2020 - 09:57:00

US Stocks Hold Steady                  04/03 09:56

   Stocks are holding relatively steady on Wall Street in early trading Friday, 
even after a report showed the economy lost 701,000 jobs last month, the first 
drop in nearly a decade.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are holding relatively steady on Wall Street in 
early trading Friday, even after a report showed the economy lost 701,000 jobs 
last month, the first drop in nearly a decade.

   The government's jobs report is usually the most anticipated economic 
release each month, but it didn't pack much of a market punch because investors 
around the world were fully expecting to see astonishing losses. Treasury 
yields, European stocks and futures for U.S. stock indexes even cut their 
losses after the jobs report was released, which was before U.S. stock markets 
opened.

   The major U.S. stock indexes were all close to flat in early morning 
trading. The S&P 500 dipped 0.1%, as of 9:52 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones 
Industrial Average fell 75 points, or 0.4%, to 21,338, and the Nasdaq was down 
0.1%.

   Businesses have shut down across the country and the world as people stay 
home in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Friday's 
report likely doesn't even fully capture the extent of the recent job losses, 
which have been accelerating by the day. Economists say next month's report may 
show the economy has wiped away the last of the 22.8 million jobs created 
during its nearly decade-long hiring streak.

   The S&P 500 is down 25% since its record set in February, reflecting the 
growing assumption that the economy is set to slide into a sudden, extremely 
sharp recession. Part of that decline also reflects the market's expectations 
for stunning job losses, such as those included in Friday's jobs report

   But the panic selling that dominated the first few weeks of the sell-off has 
calmed a bit since Washington unleashed unprecedented amounts of aid to help 
markets and the economy. The Federal Reserve has promised to buy as many 
Treasury securities as it takes to keep lending markets running smoothly, and 
Congress approved a $2.2 trillion rescue plan for the economy.

   Now, markets are waiting to see when the number of new coronavirus 
infections peaks. Only that can give some clarity on how long the economic 
downturn will last and how deep it will be.

   The United States has more than 245,000 confirmed cases, which leads the 
worldwide tally of more than 1 million compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

   For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as 
fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with health 
problems, it can cause pneumonia and be fatal.

   Markets got an additional lift Friday from another gain in oil prices. 

   Benchmark U.S. crude climbed 5% to $25.71 per barrel, adding on to its 
nearly 25% surge the prior day on expectations that Saudi Arabia and Russia may 
dial back their price war.

   The world is awash in oil as demand for energy collapses, and President 
Donald Trump said the rivals may be close to cutting back on production to prop 
up oil's price.

   That helped energy stocks in the S&P 500 rise 1.7% Friday, adding on to 
Thursday's 9.1% rally. 


(CZ)