Wall St Set for Higher Open as Labor Market Regains Momentum

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March 5 (Reuters) – Wall Street was set to open higher on Friday after data showed faster-than-expected jobs growth in February, reinforcing bets on an economic rebound driven by massive fiscal stimulus and vaccination drives.

Nonfarm payrolls surged 379,000 jobs last month after rising 166,000 in January. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast February payrolls increasing by 182,000 jobs.


Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields hit a new one-year high of 1.626%, with rate-sensitive Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo & Co and Morgan Stanley jumping between 1.7% and 2.1% in premarket trading.


Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday offered an optimistic view of the labor market, but cautioned a return to full employment this year was “highly unlikely.”


His comments disappointed investors who expected him to act on the recent spike in the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield that has set the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq on course for their third straight weekly decline.


“Markets have reached a point where the reaction to the yield movements has gotten satiated with investors looking at the possibility that they might have oversold,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.


The tech-heavy Nasdaq on Thursday slipped into negative territory on the year, ending just short of 10% from its Feb. 12 intraday record high that would confirm a correction.


At 8:49 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were up 251 points, or 0.81%, S&P 500 E-minis were up 27.75 points, or 0.74% and Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 59.25 points, or 0.48%.


Investors are also keeping an eye on progress in President Joe Biden’s a $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bill with a sharply divided U.S. Senate expected to begin a contentious debate on Friday on the legislature.


In a bright spot were energy companies including Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp which firmed about 2% each as oil prices jumped to a near 14-month high.


Costco Wholesale Corp dropped 1.5% after the warehouse club operator missed estimates for second-quarter profit.


Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Inc slumped about 6% on a $1.6 billion stock sale.


(Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)


Source: Reuters



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