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Stock futures steady ahead of big week for data, kick off of earnings season


U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat to lower start on Monday, following last week’s strong jobs data, as investors look ahead to another busy week for data and the start of first-quarter earnings season.

How are stock-index futures trading?
  • S&P 500 futures
    ES00,
    +0.05%

    were up 0.75 point at 4,132

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
    YM00,
    +0.07%

    rose 9 points to 33,668

  • Nasdaq-100 futures
    NQ00,
    -0.09%

    fell 16,25 points, or 0.1%, to 13,153.75.

Stock and bond markets were closed for the Good Friday holiday. Following a volatile session on Thursday, the Dow industrials
DJIA,
+0.01%

 rose 2.57 points to end almost flat at 33,485.29, the S&P 500
SPX,
+0.36%

rose 0.4% to 4,105.02, while the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+0.76%

gained 0.8% to finish at 12,087.96. The Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 indexes each snapped 3-week win streaks.

What’s driving the markets?

Data released on Friday showed the U.S. added 236,000 new jobs in March, dashing the Reserve’s hopes for a big slowdown in hiring and possibly opening the door to another interest-rate hike in May. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal predicted 238,000 new jobs would be created. The unemployment rate edged down to 3.5% from 3.6% and wages rose 0.3%.

Hopes that the Fed’s rate-hiking program was nearing an end has helped interest-rate sensitive tech stocks gain 15% year-to-date, outperforming a near 7% rise for the S&P 500 and a 1% gain for the Dow industrials.

Fed-fund futures showed traders pricing in a 65.3% likelihood of a quarter-point rate hike by the Federal Reserve in May, from 49.2% last Thursday, and a 36.3% chance for now change, according to the CME’s FedWatch tool.

U.S. Treasury yields were pointing lower for Monday, with those for the 10-year Treasury note
TMUBMUSD10Y,
3.361%

down 4 basis points to 3.362% and those for the 2-year Treasury note
TMUBMUSD02Y,
3.932%

off 3 basis points to 3.933%.

More economic updates are on the way this week, kicking off with wholesale inventories at 10 a.m. Eastern on Monday. The larger focus will fall on March consumer prices data, due on Wednesday, producer prices on Thursday and retail sales on Friday.

On Friday, some of the biggest Wall Street banks will mark the start of first-quarter earnings season, though the recent banking crisis has some analysts nervous about what to expect from those institutions. JPMorgan Chase
JPM,
-0.11%
,
Citigroup
C,
+0.20%

and Wells Fargo
WFC,
+2.74%

are among the big names expected to report.

Read: Banks on the line for deposit flows and margin pressure in Q1 updates as they reel from banking crisis



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