Stock Market

Stock market news today: Stock futures waver ahead of key jobs data


Stock futures pared losses Thursday ahead of a trading session that will serve as a bridge between two eventful days of testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Friday morning’s key February jobs report.

Near 8:45 a.m. ET, S&P 500 (^GSPC), Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI), and Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) futures all hovered around the flatline.

All three indices saw a spike after the release of a bigger-than-expected jump in weekly jobless claims. Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose to 211,000 for the week that ended March 4, according to data from the Department of Labor.

Stocks finished Wednesday’s trading session mixed after a sell-off Tuesday that was triggered by comments from Powell suggesting the Fed will need to raise rates higher than previously forecasted amid stubborn inflation.

“I was surprised by Powell’s willingness to accelerate the policy tightening pace, but I am not surprised by the admission that terminal rates will need to rise further,” said Neil Dutta, head of economics at Renaissance Macro.

“At present, the futures market is priced for a [50 basis point] move in March. There is no point cracking open a door if you don’t intend to walk through.” Data from the CME Group shows markets placing an 80% on the Fed raising rates by 0.50% later this month.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell testifies before a House Financial Services hearing on

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell testifies before a House Financial Services hearing on “The Federal Reserve’s Semi-Annual Monetary Policy Report” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 8, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Elsewhere in markets, the price of crude oil was flat early Thursday near $76.70 a barrel after falling earlier this week from closer to $80.

Investors will also keep a close eye on the Treasury market, where the 10-year yield was standing near 3.97% early Thursday with a deepening inversion of the yield curve garnering headlines earlier in the week.

In single-stock news, shares of Silvergate (SI) were in focus early Thursday after the bank said late Wednesday it would liquidate and wind down its operations after suffering heavy losses amid huge deposit outflows from its digital asset client base.

Shares of Silvergate, which have lost more than 95% over the last year, were down 37% in early trading.

Other stocks on the move early Thursday included MongoDB (MDB), down about 9% following a disappointing quarterly report.

On the flip side, shares of Asana (ASAN) were up as much as 16% ahead of the opening bell.

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