Good Friday and the markets

Equity futures will trade until 9:15 a.m. due to the release of the March employment report

Equity markets will pause to mark Good Friday.

However, index futures will trade until 9:15 a.m. due to the release of the monthly jobs report.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association recommends a closure at noon for bond trading.

Other than the abbreviated equity futures trading, there will be no trading in energy, metals or grains.

JOB CUTS SURGED 15% IN MARCH, AND LARGE-SCALE LAYOFFS 'WILL LIKELY CONTINUE

Wall Street

A Wall Street sign in front of an American flag (Reuters/Mike Segar / Reuters Photos)

Most foreign indexes are closed – with the exception of Tokyo, which will remain open.

The March employment report will be released Friday morning.

Economists surveyed by Refinitiv say the U.S. economy likely added 239,000 new nonfarm jobs last month, tied for the lowest since December 2020. 

That’s down sharply from a much stronger-than-expected total of 311,000 in February. While the overall pace of job growth is slowing, the labor market is still very tight with many employers hesitant to lay off workers.

"For the economy, more jobs are good: more workers, more wage income, more spending ability, and so forth. There’s no real downside," says Brad McMillan, Chief Investment Officer for Commonwealth Financial Network. "For financial markets, however, a strong report would be problematic. Those workers—earning and spending their wages—add to demand, which adds to inflation. So, a strong report would be bad news for the Fed, for interest rates, and for markets." 

FED PRESIDENT BULLARD: CREDIT TIGHTENING WON’T TRIP RECESSION

Hiring sign

Hiring sign is displayed at a restaurant in Highland Park, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh / AP Newsroom)

The unemployment rate is anticipated to hold steady for a second month at 3.6%, up from 3.4% in January.

Stocks closed slightly higher on Wall Street Thursday in mixed trading after several discouraging reports on the economy slowed stocks’ roll this week.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 39150.33 +15.57 +0.04%
SP500 S&P 500 5464.62 -8.55 -0.16%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 17689.360656 -32.23 -0.18%

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The S&P 500 was 0.4% higher Thursday. The Dow and Nasdaq also closed modestly higher. 

For the week, the S&P 500 was down 0.1%, The Dow gained 0.6% and the Nasdaq lost 1.1%.