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New Jobs Week to Keep Bull Market Charging?

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Monday, March 4th, 2024

Pre-market futures are flat-to-lower this morning, after a healthy week of trading that saw individual indices up from +1% to +3% over the last five days of trading. With this in mind, a lackluster start to a new week may just be awaiting to see which way the market winds are blowing, especially without any major economic news or earnings reports to reflect on. The Dow is -165 points at this hour, while the S&P 500 is -9 points and the Nasdaq is +2.

In terms of economic news, this does promise to be a consequential week: it’s a new Jobs Week, where Wednesday’s private-sector payrolls from ADP (ADP - Free Report) and JOLTS data from the Federal government joins Friday morning’s Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with Weekly Jobless Claims between them. Last time around, there was a wide discrepancy between ADP and BLS numbers: 107K new jobs created in January versus 353K, respectively. We expect some revisions on both ends, while expectations are for between 150K job placements in February (ADP - Free Report) and 210K on BLS.

There will also be a healthy number of additional economic reports, such as Factory Orders, ISM Services, Wholesale Inventories, a new Beige Book, a revision to Q4 Productivity and U.S. trade Balance numbers. While none of these prints will be enough to move markets on their own, combined together — and with the various jobs reports out this week — we should get a nuanced take of the U.S. economy by the end of the week that we don’t have currently.

We also have a perhaps surprising number of earnings reports expected this week, with retailers like Target (TGT - Free Report) and Nordstrom (JWN - Free Report) joining cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike (CRWD - Free Report) and Chinese EV retailer NIO (NIO - Free Report) all coming out with quarterly numbers — and that’s just for Tuesday. Beyond these, Broadcom (AVGO - Free Report) and Costco (COST - Free Report) bring out earnings results later this week. Overall, however, we’re just about to tie a bow on Q4 earnings season.

In terms of “news” news this morning, JetBlue (JBLU - Free Report) has announced the termination of its merger efforts with rival discount airline Spirit (SAVE - Free Report) , which was not unexpected. In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice had already rejected the joining together of these two companies, and there was little belief among analysts in this space that anything was going to change in this regard. Also, Apple (AAPL - Free Report) is reportedly being served with a $2 billion fine by a European commission related to reportedly unfair music streaming service practices.

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