U.S. Stocks Set to Rally After Red-Hot Jobs Report

The jobs data takes the focus off the recent trade war drama

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 9, 2018 at 9:15 AM
Updated on Mar 9, 2018 at 9:18 AM

U.S. stock futures are signaling a higher open, as investors react to this morning's staggering jobs data. Specifically, the nonfarm payrolls report for February blew past expectations, with the U.S. economy adding 313,000 jobs during the month. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained constant at 4.1%, while a 0.1% monthly rise in wage growth fell short of the forecast.

Elsewhere, traders are digesting reports President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with North Korea's Kim Jong-un in the coming months. Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is set to open sharply higher, keeping it on pace for another weekly win, despite the recent tariff uncertainty.

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

stocks today

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 817,333 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 498,391 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio moved back up to 0.61, and the 21-day moving average moved down to 0.64. 
  2. Zosano Pharma Corp (NASDAQ:ZSAN) is set to continue its ridiculous run higher today, with the shares up 14% in pre-market action. The drug stock has been moving higher following the company's announcement of a patent for its experimental migraine treatment a week ago. ZSAN is set to open near $22, after trading below $5 as recently as Feb. 26.
  3. Toy stocks Mattel (MAT) and Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) are under pressure before the open after CNBC reported Toys 'R' Us may liquidate its U.S. operations. The news could hamper HAS stock's seasonal tailwinds, as the shares continue to hold near their 80-day moving average.
  4. Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG) is signaling a 10% drop at the open, after the company reported weak same-store sales for the fourth quarter. Such a move would put BIG shares below the 200-day moving average for the first time since September, and comes a day after fellow retailer Costco (COST) dipped on its own weak quarterly results.
  5. There are no earnings of note today. Next week's economic schedule features important inflation data, however.

stock market news march 9

Diplomatic Developments Guide Asian Stocks Higher

Markets in Asia finished higher to close out the week, boosted by optimism over North Korea's openness to discuss denuclearization with the U.S. this spring. The yen gave back some safe-haven gains to help Japan's Nikkei finish 0.5% higher -- despite deeper losses for steel stocks after Trump signed off on steel and aluminum tariffs. High hopes for an improving geopolitical climate propped up Seoul-listed tourism stocks, which boosted South Korea's Kospi by 1.1%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng followed suit with its own 1.1% rise. China's Shanghai Composite closed up 0.6%.  

Stocks in Europe were lower at midday, as investors anxiously awaited the U.S. jobs report. Auto stocks continue to struggle on trade-war concerns, with fears exacerbated by weak monthly exports data out of Frankfurt. London's FTSE 100 is down 0.1% at last check, the French CAC 40 is just a hair below breakeven, while the German DAX has notched a 0.4% dip.

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