Stock Futures Choppy with Jobs Data in Focus

Nonfarm payrolls exceeded expectations, but the employment rate rose to 3.9%

Deputy Editor
Mar 8, 2024 at 9:05 AM
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This morning's highly anticipated jobs data is front and center on Wall Street. While nonfarm payrolls increased to 275,000 in February -- above the 198,000 figure estimated -- the unemployment rate climbed to 3.9%. Stock futures are volatile after the report, with futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) down 23 points at last glance, while Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) futures inch higher. 

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

  • Behind two post-earnings stock surges yesterday. 
  • Dollar Tree stock red-hot ahead of earnings next week. 
  • Plus, CVNA upgraded; DOCU jumps after earnings; and LLY slips on FDA update. 

Futures March8

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.6 million call contracts and 909,384 put contracts exchanged Thursday. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.56, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.71.
  2. Carvana Co (NYSE:CVNA) stock is up 5.2% premarket, after an upgrade from RBC to "sector perform" from "underperform," with a lofty price-target hike to $90 from $45. The firm cited the car retailer's valuation, as well as a favorable setup for "unit acceleration." Since the start of the year, Carvana stock is already up 50.1%. 
  3. Shares of DocuSign Inc (NASDAQ:DOCU) are up 8.6% before the bell, after the tech company's upbeat fourth-quarter report and strong first-quarter guidance. No fewer than five analysts lifted their price targets after the event. DOCU is on track to recover a large portion of its 9.9% year-to-date deficit, should these gains hold. 
  4. Eli Lilly & Co (NYSE:LLY) stock is down 1.1% in electronic trading, after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) delayed approving the drugmaker's Alzheimer’s drug, donanemab, which was expected to be approved this month, and called for an advisory panel. Looking to slip further from its March 4 record high of $800.78, LLY is up 33.8% since the start of 2024. 
  5. More economic data scheduled next week


Asia Markets Climb Amid Economic Data

Markets in Asia enjoyed gains across the board, after Fed comments stateside suggested interest rate hikes might be coming in the not-too-distant future. In Japan, household spending saw a wider-than-expected year-over-year drop of 6.3% in January, helping the Nikkei add 0.2% as the yen strengthens against the U.S. dollar. In China, the Shanghai Composite closed up 0.6%, as auto sales climb 16.8% month-over-month and Li Auto (LI) shared plans to build over 2,000 charging stations. Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.8% and South Korea’s Kospi tacked on 1.2%.

Stocks in Europe are all over the place, as investors digest German industrial output that rose 1% for January. A handful of earnings and revised euro zone data is also in focus. At last check, London’s FTSE 100 is off 0.5%, Germany’s DAX is down 0.2%, and France’s CAC 40 is flat.



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