US stocks were set to open lower Friday as the announcement of a strong monthly jobs report elevated anticipation that the US Federal Reserve Bank would raise the lending rates sooner than expected.
According to the jobs report, non-farming payrolls grew by 297000 in February exceeding the expected 240000 growth with unemployment falling to 5.5% from 5.7%.
According to market analysts, the weakness in the markets points towards most investors pricing in a June lending rate hike from the Fed Reserve.
Traders will see this headline number as a reason for the Fed to move sooner than later,” Todd Schoenberger, managing Partner at LandColt Capital told USAtoday
“Investors are naïve to think this way because the Fed isn’t going to hike rates based on headline job numbers,” he says. “They’ll do it if they see immediate inflation. And, the one data point issued in the report is the average hourly earnings figure — and it increased only 0.1%. This will not move the Fed.”.
Despite the benchmark stocks ending the previous session considerably higher, the major index futures indicated a lower opening with the Dow Jones Industrial Average poised for a 41 point tumble.
The stocks showed considerable growth on Thursday after two days of declines as major investors put off big bets ahead of the jobs report.
Standard and Poor’s 500 market index futures declined 5.5 points while the Nasdaq e-mini futures declined by as much as 2 points.
“This is a surprise to markets, we were expecting potentially a number below the expected number because of weather and other factors, but to get a number this strong given the expected loss of jobs in energy and the impact of weather is very positive for the U.S. economy,” Tracie McMillion, head of asset allocation at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in Winston-Salem, North Carolina told Reuters.
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