Jobs Data Beats; Dow Jones Industrial Average Aims For Another Weekly Win

How Traders Are Playing Apple's FBI Face-Off

Mar 4, 2016 at 9:08 AM
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Amid strong jobs data and stable crude oil prices, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are above fair value this morning. The nonfarm payrolls report revealed the U.S. economy added a bigger-than-expected 242,000 jobs in February, and the unemployment rate stayed at 4.9%, though hourly wages declined. Checking in on oil prices, April crude futures were last seen 0.9% higher at $34.88 per barrel, on pace for a respectable weekly gain. Not to be outdone, the Dow and its index peers are signaling a third straight weekly win for U.S. stocks. 

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:


Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are 23 points above fair value. 

5 Things You Need to Know Today


  1. Stocks in Asia settled higher ahead of a busy week
  2. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 887,285 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 488,850 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio moved down to 0.55, while the 21-day moving average edged down to 0.74.  
  3. Semiconductor stock Broadcom Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO) reported well-received fiscal first-quarter earnings and announced it would cut about 1,900 jobs, putting the shares almost 8% higher ahead of the open. Ahead of earnings, option traders were more put-heavy than usual
  4. A group of over two dozen tech companies, including Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), filed amicus briefs asking a judge to support AAPL in its case against the FBI. The briefs offer information meant to reinforce why it'd be unwise for the government to force AAPL to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. 
  5. Retailer J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) has been unstoppable since its fourth-quarter earnings beat last week. The shares have surged almost 30%, and they're not done yet. This morning, Evercore upgraded JCP to "buy" from "hold," and now the shares have gained another 2.8% in pre-market action, setting them up to top $11 for the first time since September 2014. 


Earnings and Economic Data

International trade data will be released today. Staples (SPLS) steps into the earnings spotlight. To see what's coming up on next week's agenda, click here.


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