Back to top

View the PFP Archive

Market Moves You Need to See
Kevin Matras   
Profit from the Pros
By Kevin Matras
Executive Vice President
Zacks Investment Research

Stocks End Mostly Lower Yesterday, Fed Chair Testimony And Jobs Report On Tap This Week

Stocks closed mostly lower yesterday, although the mid-cap S&P 400 finished higher with a gain of 0.69%.

Super Micro Computer was one of the big winners yesterday as they surged 18.8%.

After the close last Friday (3/1), it was announced that they would be joining the S&P 500 Index. The move will take effect before the open on Monday, March 18. (Deckers Outdoor will also join the S&P at that time as well. They were up 2.50% yesterday.) They will replace Whirlpool and Zions Bancorp.

Even with Super Micro Computer going up, along with NVIDIA and Advanced Micro Devices, the tech-heavy Nasdaq still ended lower. Moderately lower, but lower nonetheless.

There was not much in the way of economic reports out yesterday.

Today, however, will be busier with the PMI Composite report, Factory Orders, and the ISM Services Index.

It gets busier still later in the week. On Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell will be giving his Semiannual Monetary Policy Report before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. And on Thursday, he'll do it again, this time before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

But the main event will be Friday's always important Employment Situation report.

The Fed's dual mandate requires them to keep prices stable (as such, they target a 2% inflation rate), but also to promote maximum employment. It's a juggling act at times. While every inflation report can have an impact of the Fed's decision making, so too does the employment report.

The labor market has been incredibly resilient. Last year, Mr. Powell remarked with seeming incredulity (given the Fed's historic rate hike cycle), that rates have risen to 5% while the unemployment rate is still so low.

The unemployment rate is a proxy for the economy. Gladly, wage inflation has cooled. But if the jobs market remains hot, it suggests higher interest rates may not have slowed the economy down sufficiently to eventually push inflation down to 2%. So Friday's report will be watched closely.

After Friday, we'll get two more inflation reports next week: the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on March 12, and the Producer Price Index (PPI) on March 14.

And then after that, the Fed has their next FOMC meeting on March 19-20.

Nobody is expecting the Fed to cut rates at the March meeting. But they will begin talking about when they might begin to cut rates. And that's what everybody is anxious to hear.

In the meantime, we'll get more earnings today with another 263 companies on deck to report, including retail giant Target before the open, and CrowdStrike and Ross Stores after the close.

What a year it's been so far. And it's just getting started.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


See Zacks' Top Stocks for Free

Starting today, you can get instant access to the latest picks from our time-proven strategies which since 2000 have soared far above the market. While the S&P 500 averaged +7.0% per year, our top strategies averaged gains as high as +44.9%, +48.4% and +55.2% per year.

You'll also get our free Special Report, Top 10 Stock Screening Strategies that Make Money which spells out the formulas behind these top strategies.

See Stocks Free »

Most Popular Articles from

Image: Bigstock

Regionals in Flux: Powell's Insights & the Small Bank Challenge

Right now, investors should avoid regional banking stocks with commercial real estate exposure. Read More »

Image: Bigstock

Bitcoin Has $70,000 In Its Sights: Stocks to Watch

The world's largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has been on a tear since bottoming in late 2022, and now all-time highs are back within reach. Read More »

Image: Shutterstock

3 Stocks Worth a Deeper Dive in the Thriving Hospital Industry

Increasing patient volumes, continuous technological innovation and digital transformation efforts are positioning these companies for long-term success. Read More »

Image: Shutterstock

5 Top-Ranked ETFs at New Highs Set to Soar Further

These ETFs, having a solid Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), touched new 52-week highs and are expected to move higher. Read More »

Image: Bigstock

A New Nonfarm Payroll Number: Global Week Ahead

Signs of continued jobs market strength or a hawkish message from the Fed could make it harder for investors to shrug off concerns about interest rates. Read More »


Increase Investment Returns with Free Zacks' Portfolio Tracker

Catch breaking news on your stocks and funds at a glance, including timely recommendation changes ... Zacks Ranks ... Industry Ranks ... earnings announcements ... earnings estimate revisions ... and more. And now you can screen for new stocks to improve portfolio performance.

Click for Free Tracker & Screener »

Image: Bigstock

Bull of the Day: Bull of the Day: Cadence Design Systems (CDNS)

As the demand for artificial intelligence continues to soar, Cadence Design is perfectly positioned to capitalize on this growth. Read More »

New Zacks Strong Buys for March 5th

Here are 5 stocks added to the Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) List today. Read More »


Download our app for convenient on-the-go access to even more—daily and weekly newsletters published by Zacks experts, proprietary research and tools, and Portfolio Tracker on

Download our Zacks App for Apple iOS
Download our Zacks App for Android

Visit Success Stories to hear how Zacks research, tools and portfolios help our members outperform the market.