US President Joe Biden has announced the release of 1 million barrels of oil per day from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the next six months as part of an administrative effort to reduce gasoline prices in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. White House in Washington, March 31, 2022.
Kevin Lamarck | Reuters
Stock futures rose early Thursday as investors assessed a new quarter of trading and a troubled bond market bearish index.
Investors were also waiting for the March official jobs report, which the Labor Department will release at 8:30 a.m. Friday.
Dow Futures rose 85 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 futures rose 0.2% and the Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.3% to start the first trading session of the second quarter.
Dow Jones Industrial Average fell on Thursday, the first negative quarter in two years for the stock, losses accelerated in the last hour of trading. The Dow fell 550.46 points, or 1.56%, to 34,678.35. The S&P 500 was down 1.57% at 4,530.41 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.54% at 14,220.52.
The three major averages posted their worst quarterly since March 2020. The Dow and S&P 500 are down 4.6% and 4.9%, respectively, and the Nasdaq is down more than 9%. Stocks made a late-quarter return in March, but only after rising interest rates and inflation fell sharply in the first half of the year.
So far the stocks have shaken a bearish signal from the bond market that started just after the closing hour on Thursday. The 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields have reversed for the first time since 2019. For some investors, this is a sign that the economy is heading for a potential recession, although the reversal yield curve shows exactly when this will happen and history does not predict it could be more than a year or so.
Shannon Sacosia, chief investment officer at Boston Private Wealth, told CNBC’s “Closing Bell”, “I think everyone needs to acknowledge the fact that we are clearly moving into a slower economic environment.”
“You need to get income growth from somewhere, and if it’s not a secular tailwind, such as revenue spending and loosening of fiscal policy, then you need to look for growth elsewhere. I think we’re going to see some real fine trading. The next three months or so.” Over time, people have looked to growth in the face of this increasingly challenging economic context. “
A strong jobs report on Friday could give the Fed more confidence to maintain its aggressive rate-hiking plan this year so that inflation can be contained without fear of slowing the economy too much. Economists expect that about 490,000 jobs were added in March, according to Dow Jones consensus estimates, after 678,000 pay-offs in February. According to the Dow Jones, the unemployment rate is expected to fall to 3.7% from 3.8%.
Gamestop has rallied more than 10% in extended trading since announcing its intent to split video game retailer and meme stock.
The White House said on Thursday that it had released an unprecedented amount of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as energy prices fell. There will be 1 million barrels of oil per day for the next six months.
Other key indicators include the ISM Production Index and the Construction Expenditure Report, both of which will be released at 10 a.m. Friday.