U.S. stock market rallied on Friday after comments by Fed officials raised hopes the central bank might pull back on its campaign of interest rate hikes to fight inflation. For the week, the Dow rose 1.8% and the S&P 500 gained 1.9%, while the Nasdaq added 2.6%. It was the first weekly gain in five weeks for the Dow, and the first in four for the S&P 500. U.S. Treasury yields climbed to their highest levels since early November, with the yield of the 10-year note trading above 4% on Thursday before retreating on Friday, while those of the one-year and six-month bills climbed above 5%—their highest levels since 2007. Crude oil prices rallied Friday on strong economic data from China and rising U.S. exports. The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rallied almost 2% to just under $80 per barrel.
The U.S. labor market will be in the spotlight next week with the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report on Wednesday, along with ADP’s National Employment Report tracking private sector payrolls. On Friday, the Labor Department will release its nonfarm payrolls report for February. Fed Chair Jerome Powell will testify before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of his semiannual testimony on monetary policy. On Thursday, President Biden will outline his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year to Congress. Apple, the world’s most valuable company by market capitalization, will hold its annual shareholders’ meeting virtually on Friday. The company will vote to re-elect its board of directors, approve executive pay, vote on shareholder proposals, and more.
More details about the US Labor Market
On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report for January, tracking the number of openings, hires, quits, and separations for the month. Job openings are projected to have fallen to 10.6 million in January, down from 11 million in December. As of the latest report, there are nearly two job openings for every job seeker, highlighting the tight national labor market.
Also on Wednesday, payroll provider ADP will release its National Employment Report, tracking growth in private sector payrolls for February. Economists project private businesses added 185,000 positions last month, compared to 108,000 in January. This will set the stage for the February nonfarm payrolls report due from the BLS on Friday. Economists project the U.S. added 200,000 jobs last month, well below a gain of 517,000 in January that marked the strongest job growth in six months. The unemployment rate is forecast to remain unchanged at a 53-year low of 3.4%.