Markets will be closed tomorrow.First the scoreboard:
Dow: 13,060.14, -14.6, -0.1%
S&P 500: 1,398.0, -0.8, -0.0%
NASDAQ: 3,080.5, +12.4, +0.4%
And now the top stories:
- Europe was a mess this morning. A French debt auction didn’t go well, which sent the country’s borrowing costs north. Then Germany, the biggest economy in Europe, reported that industrial production fell 1.3 per cent in February. Economists were looking for a decline of 0.5 per cent. Spain, the eurozone’s new big headache, saw its borrowing costs continue to surge and its stock market sink to five-month lows.
- It’s jobs week in America. Challenger grey & Christmas reported planned layoffs fell to a 10-month low of 37,800, down 8.8 per cent from a year ago.
- Initial jobless claims fell to 357k, which was just slightly higher than the 355k economists were looking for. The number reflects a four-year low. However, Nomura’s economics team wrote, “At this stage of the cycle, a decline in claims becomes a less useful signal of labour market strength as a pick-up in hiring, as opposed to a drop in layoffs, takes on greater importance.”
- The U.S. stock markets will be closed tomorrow for Good Friday. However, the Bureau of labour Statistics will be releasing its employment situation report, which will include the unemployment rate and the number of nonfarm payrolls added in March. Business Insider estimates that the U.S. added 193k jobs during the month.
- Throughout the trading day, national retail chains announced their March same-store sales results. And the results blew estimates out of the water. The big winner today was TJX, whose sales surged 10.0 per cent, beating estimates calling for 4.8 per cent. Gap, Limited Brands, Macy’s, and Ross Stores where among the other chains that crushed estimates. GOLDMAN SACHS: The 20 Best Stocks In The World >
- Costco was one chain that disappointed investors by only increasing 6 per cent while analysts were looking for a gain of 6.7 per cent. But that might not be such a bad sign. If consumers are spending less at warehouse clubs, then they’re probably spending more at traditional grocery stores and retailers where price points are higher. Indeed, all of the retail sales data today was a relief to those who feared high gas prices would destroy the consumer.
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