US Equities Off to a Shaky Start

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US Equities Off to a Shaky Start

Judging by today’s US session open, risk sentiment is off to a shaky start with US equities scrambling to establish a clear direction and take recent market events in stride. The release of the US ADP employment report did have a say in influencing US stocks and the US dollar, as the actual figure came in weaker than expected while a downward revision was seen for the previous reading.

For the month of February, only 139K in private payrolls was added while the January reading was downgraded from the already weaker than expected 175K to 127K. This sparked fears of a much weaker non-farm payrolls reading set to be released later on this week.

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US Equities and Jobs Data

Recall that Fed Chairperson Yellen assured market participants that the recent weakness in the NFP was simply a result of extreme weather conditions and not indicative of a slowdown in the labor market. This upcoming jobs release could be crucial in determining whether she was right or wrong with the assessment.

At the same time, traders also tried to make sense of the recent developments in Ukraine and their overall impact on sentiment. As of this writing, only the Dow is in the red with a 0.19% downtick while the Nasdaq is looking at a 0.18% gain. S&P500 is up by a meager 0.6% with the chance to increase its lead should risk appetite stay in the markets for the rest of the trading session.

Meanwhile, the ISM non-manufacturing report also came in weaker than expected with a sharp decline from 54.0 to 51.6 instead of a mere dip to 53.8 as analysts predicted. This confirms fears that the economic slowdown in the US might be worse than what most officials and analysts anticipated. Despite that, US equities look ready to hold on to its recent gains on this recovery rally.

To contact the reporter of the story: Jonathan Millet at jonathanmillet@forexminute.com