Market Commentary: Markets Open Up, Blamed on Good Unemployment Data

March 6th, 2014
in Gary's blogging, market open

Written by

Opening Market Commentary For 03-06-2014

Gary is off today, and the market open comes from our syndication partner

U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday, supported by the release of upbeat U.S. jobless claims data and as investors turned to Friday's highly-anticipated nonfarm payrolls report.

Follow up:

During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.31%, the S&P 500 gained 0.29%, while the Nasdaq Composite index added 0.24%.

The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits fell by 26,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 323,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 349,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 11,000 to 338,000 last week. A separate report showed that U.S. non-farm productivity rose less than initially expected in the fourth quarter, while unit labor costs declined less than forecast.

European stocks held gains on Thursday, after the release of upbeat German factory orders data and as investors eyed the release of the European Central Bank's monthly policy statement later in the trading session. During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 climbed 0.65%, France’s CAC 40 gained 0.67%, while Germany’s DAX 30 rose 0.29%.

Official data showed that factory orders increased by 1.2% in January, beating expectations for a gain of 0.7%. Factory orders declined by 0.2% in December, whose figure was revised from a previously reported decline of 0.5%.

The ECB was expected to hold off cutting rates later Thursday but was expected to take other steps to tighten policy, amid ongoing concerns over the subdued inflation outlook for the euro area.

Figures released last Friday showed the annual rate of inflation in the euro area was unchanged at 0.8% in February, well below the ECB's target of just under 2.0%. Data on Wednesday showing that euro zone private sector activity grew more rapidly than initially estimated in February, expanding at the fastest pace since June 2011 eased pressure on the bank to cut rates.

Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale jumped 0.91% and 0.62%, although Germany's Deutsche Bank rallied 1.37%.

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Written by Gary


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