The Week Ahead: Jobs, Economics, Golden Crosses
While the markets in March were indeed rocky, the S&P 500 (SPX) ended up positive for the month. More importantly, though, the benchmark index posted its best quarterly performance since 1998 – around a whopping +14%. Overall, the stock market’s year-to-date rebound and recovery have been nothing short of spectacular. But will we see more of this bullish trajectory in the week and month ahead? Here, we bring you a glimpse of what the week ahead holds in store for the markets. And what we see are: jobs, economics, and golden crosses.
U.S. Jobs Report
The monthly U.S. jobs report, slated for this Friday, is always closely watched by investors for its market-moving potential. The headline number – the non-farm payrolls – is a measure of the number of jobs added to the U.S. economy in the previous month. Last month’s figure (for February) fell dismally short of expectations at only 20K jobs added against previous expectations for 180K.
For March, consensus expectations are pointing to 175K added jobs, and a 3.8% unemployment rate. Since economic growth is of utmost concern right now, the employment numbers take on added significance. Any substantial deviation from consensus will likely have a significant market impact – positive or negative.
Before the official U.S. government jobs numbers, though, the ADP private employment release on Wednesday will provide a hint of what might be expected. Forecasts for that number are around 185K.
Besides the key U.S. jobs report, other economic releases abound in the week ahead. For U.S. markets, this includes (all times listed are in U.S. Eastern Time):
- Monday, 8:30 AM ET – U.S. Retail Sales and Core Retail Sales (m/m)
- Monday, 10:00 AM ET – U.S. ISM Manufacturing PMI
- Tuesday, 8:30 AM ET – U.S. Durable Goods Orders and Core Durable Good Orders (m/m)
- Wednesday, 8:15 AM ET – U.S. ADP Non-Farm Employment Change
- Wednesday, 10:00 AM ET – U.S. ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI
- Friday, 8:30 AM ET – U.S. Non-Farm Employment Change, Unemployment Rate, Average Hourly Earnings (m/m)
Check out our Market Events & Earnings Calendar for more.
S&P 500 Hits Tentative ‘Golden Cross’
The S&P 500 just hit the potential beginnings of a ‘golden cross’ technical pattern. This is when the 50-day moving average crosses above the 200-day moving average. It’s considered a significantly bullish chart pattern. Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average confirmed this same pattern. When the Dow and S&P 500 both form golden crosses, it’s usually a good sign for the markets.
Aside from the bullish technicals, jobs report, and other major economic releases, investors are also keeping a close eye on U.S.-China trade talks. Optimism that a deal may soon be struck between the two superpowers helped fuel surges in both U.S. and international markets in the past several weeks. With any further positive developments in these critical negotiations, stocks could get another boost in the week and month ahead.
IMPORTANT: The information above should not be construed as investment advice and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Trading and investing in the financial markets involves substantial risk of loss, and may not be suitable for all investors.
Disclosure: At the time of this article’s publication, we have no position in any security or trade/investment mentioned, nor do we have any business relationship with any company whose stock may be mentioned.
Chief Market Strategist at The Technicals
With more than two decades of experience as an equity analyst for several major research firms, Don has covered individual stocks (both technically and fundamentally) across a wide variety of sectors and industries, including tech, financial, and retail. He has been quoted regularly in key financial media like Bloomberg and Reuters. Contact Don