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, All Eyes On Friday's Employment Report

Stocks closed mostly lower yesterday with only the Nasdaq eking out a small gain.

Yesterday marked the beginning of a new week, month, and quarter.

The markets have a lot to live up to, especially given how well they've performed over the last month(s) and quarter(s).

Yesterday was also the first full trading day for the market to respond to last Friday's Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index. It came in mostly as expected with headline inflation up 2.5% y/y, up a bit from last month's 2.4%, but in line with expectations for 2.5%. The core rate (ex-food & energy) was up 2.8% y/y, which was just under last month's upwardly revised 2.9% (from 2.8%), and in line with views for the same.

While core inflation is still a ways away from the Fed's 2% target, it's well under 2022's peak of 5.3%.

The Fed is expected to hold rates steady when they meet again on April 30/May 1. But they are expected to finally begin cutting rates at their June 11-12 meeting.

We'll get three more inflation reports, however, before the next meeting.

We'll also get one more employment report. The employment report is an important data point the Fed considers when setting monetary policy given their dual mandate which requires them to keep prices stable (moderate inflation), but also to promote maximum employment.

The labor market has been incredibly resilient. So much so that Fed Chair Jerome Powell recently 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.

Fortunately, the unemployment rate doesn't have to rise before the Fed cuts rates. But the unemployment rate is a proxy for the economy. And the Fed is balancing between not cutting rates too soon, which could allow inflation to creep back up, and waiting too long which could bring "unneeded damage to the economy and the labor market."

So Friday's employment situation report will be watched and analyzed closely.

In other news, yesterday's PMI Manufacturing report came in at 51.9 vs. last month's 52.2, and the consensus for 52.5.

The ISM Manufacturing Index increased to 50.3 vs. last month's 47.8, and views for 48.3.

And Construction Spending slipped -0.3% m/m vs. last month's -0.2% pace, and estimates for 0.5%. On a y/y basis it came in at 10.7% vs. last month's 11.4%.

Today we'll get Motor Vehicle Sales, Factory Orders, and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report (or JOLTS for short).

In the meantime, we'll see if the market can regroup and build a base for its next leg up.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


Game-Changing Cancer Tech Nears FDA Completion


In the world of tech advancements, a new player could outshine even AI. It's a revolutionary technology with the aim of transforming cancer detection. Imagine the leap from basic reading glasses to cutting-edge VR; that's the scale of innovation we're talking about. FDA review is in its final stages and it could become the gold standard before we know it.

Explore Investment Opportunities in This Market Disruptor

Most Popular Articles from

Image: Bigstock

Riding Bull Markets is Challenging (This Rule Will Keep you on Track)

Understanding the difference between these two indicators is the key to profitability and success in bull markets. Read More »

Image: Bigstock

3 Stocks to Buy From the Prospering Technology Services Market

The technology services market has thrived post-pandemic due to remote work adoption and advanced tech. Read More »

Image: Bigstock

5 Stocks That More Than Doubled in Q1 With More Gains Ahead

We have selected five stocks that have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and a VGM Score of B or better. Read More »

Image: Shutterstock

4 Crypto Stocks to Watch Ahead of Bitcoin Halving Event

These four crypto-oriented stocks look to have strong potential for 2024. Read More »

Image: Bigstock

Global Week Ahead: Currency Headwinds and U.S. Jobs on Deck

Inflationary data from Europe and the U.S. jobs report will be a key focus for bond and stock traders alike this week. Read More »


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 »

Image: Bigstock

Bull of the Day: NVIDIA (NVDA)

Estimates and developers keep levitating after GTC unveils the new Blackwell SuperPOD. Read More »

New Zacks Strong Buys for April 2nd

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.