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The battered momentum stocks finally had an up day.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,267.9 (+22.1, +0.1%)
- S&P 500: 1,853.7 (+8.7, +0.4%)
- Nasdaq: 4,118.6, (+38.7, +0.9%)
And now the top stories:
- After a string of down days, the high-beta, high-growth stocks rebounded a bit today. Google, Amazon, and Netflix each rallied by around 3%.
- The economic data dump was light today. The NFIB’s Small Business Optimism index climbed to 93.4 in March from 91.4 in February. This was higher than the 92.5 level expected by economists. “The net percent of owners planning to create new jobs did fall 2 points but remained positive even if weak,” noted the NFIB. “The outlook for real sales gains accounted for about half of the improvement with inventory satisfaction and inventory investment plans accounting for most of the rest. However, throughout this recovery these types of increases have generally gone nowhere. As long as Washington continues to ignore policies that could restore the middle class growth and job creation will continue to be sub- par.”
- According to the new Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey, there were 4.173 million job openings in February, up from 3.874 million in January. The rate of hires and separations stalled, and the quit rate — a measure of job market confidence — ticked down. “The ratio of unemployed job seekers to job openings fell to 2.50 on the month from 2.64 in January, its lowest level since July 2008,” noted Barclays’ Cooper Howes. “This is almost exactly the average seen from 2002 to 2004, a period over which the unemployment rate averaged 5.8%. In our view, this suggests that there is little slack remaining in labor markets and that future wage growth will be stronger than it was at similar levels of the unemployment rate during past cycles.”
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