US non-farm payrolls data due out later on Friday is expected to
show that employers added 200,000 new jobs in March following
February's 175,000 increase.
If the data meets expectations, it will add to a growing list of
indicators which show that the US economy is on track for
The US jobless rate is also expected to have improved, falling
to 6.6 percent; a five year low. The positive outlook on the labor
market has many investors considering revising forward their bets
on when the Fed will increase its key interest rate.
At the bank's last meeting, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the bank
would maintain its accommodative monetary policy in order to help
tighten up the labor market. However with movement in the right
direction, some are beginning to speculate that a rate hike could
come sooner than expected.
In other news around the markets:
The US Navy's high tech black box locator has been deployed for the
first time as the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane
becomes more urgent. With only days left to find the cockpit
recording device before its battery runs out and no sign of the
wreckage, investigators have begun to search underwater in a
last ditch effort to locate the jet. German industrial orders rose
in February for the fourth month in a row, leading analysts to
believe that the nation's domestic demand is set to increase in the
first quarter. The nation's industrial orders rose by 0.6 percent
in February, far above analyst expectations of a 0.1 percent
increase. On Thursday evening, IMS Health Holdings announced that
it priced its IPO at $20 per share to raise $1.3 billion. IMS' IPO
is the second largest US IPO in 2014 and sold a total of 65 million
shares. The European Central Bank elected to maintain its current
monetary policy but hinted at the possibility of further easing at
its April meeting. At a press conference following the meeting, ECB
President Mario Draghi explained away the region's worrisome
inflation figures, saying the bank needed to see April's data in
order to make a decision about policy changes.
Asian markets were mixed; the Japanese NIKKEI lost 0.05 percent,
the Hang Seng index fell 0.23 percent and the KOSPI was down 0.28
percent. However the Shanghai composite rose 0.68 percent, the
Shenzhen composite was up 0.85 percent and Australia's ASX200
gained 0.24 percent.
European markets were mostly higher; the UK's FTSE gained 0.34
percent and the eurozone's STOXX600 was up 0.13 percent. The German
DAX rose 0.16 percent and France's CAC 40 was up 0.03 percent.
Energy futures gained modestly; Brent futures were up 0.13
percent and WTI futures were up 0.18 percent. Gold and silver
gained 0.22 percent and 0.13 percent respectively and industrial
metals were also higher. Copper gained 0.55 percent, aluminum rose
0.25 percent and tin was up 1.05 percent.
Currency markets were quiet on Friday, the euro lost 0.10
percent against the dollar and 0.02 percent against the pound. The
dollar fell 0.08 percent against the yen but gained 0.17 percent
against the franc.
Notable earnings released on Thursday included:
Synnex Corporation (NYSE:
) reported first quarter EPS of $1.25 on revenue of $3.03 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.88 on revenue of $2.46 billion.
Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:
) reported second quarter EPS of $0.85 on revenue of $4.11 billion,
compared to last year's loss of $0.28 on revenue of $2.08 billion.
RPM International Inc. (NYSE:
) reported third quarter EPS of $0.12 on revenue of $863.40
million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.07 on revenue of $843.74
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
Anadarko Petroleum Corp (NYSE:
) was up 1.49 percent in premarket trade after gaining 14.51
percent on Thursday. Carnival Corp (NYSE:
) rose 0.96 percent in premarket trade after rising 3.05 percent
over the past five days. Ford Motor Corp (NYSE:
) gained 0.67 percent in premarket trade after rising 7.48 percent
over the past week. Kellogg Co (NYSE:
) was down 0.59 percent in premarket trade after gaining 5.97
percent on Thursday.
Notable earnings releases expected on Friday include:
CarMax Inc (NYSE:
) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.53 on revenue of
$3.18 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.46 on revenue of
US non-farm payrolls and unemployment data will be the star of
Friday's economic calendar as investors try to gauge the strength
of the US economy. Other notable economic releases will include
Canadian unemployment, eurozone retail PMI and the British house
For a recap of Thursday's market action, click .
Tune into Benzinga's #PreMarket show with Dennis Dick and Joel
© 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
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