All eyes on February jobs report
UPDATE: The U.S. added a meager 20,000 jobs in February while analysts were looking for around 180,000.
The Labor Department is scheduled to reveal U.S. jobs report for the month of February at 8:30 a.m. ET. Wall Street expects the report to show wage and strong growth. On average, economists forecast that unemployment rate fell to 3.9% and the economy added a total of 185,000 jobs, based on Refinitiv data.
There were a total of 304,000 job additions in January and 222,000 in December. February wage growth is expected to rise by 0.3%, compared with a rise of 0.1% in January.
China stocks suffer worst sell-off since October due to weak exports
Chinese shares suffered their worst sell-off in five months as poor exports data added to renewed fears about the health of the Asian economic giant. Investors are also worried that the Chinese and U.S. officials may not arrive at a trade agreement anytime soon.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell almost 2%, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 4.4%, while the Nikkei 225 fell 2%.
U.S. stock index futures point to lower open on global economic slowdown concerns
Stock index futures are pointing toward a lower start on Wall Street amid rekindled concerns about a global economic slowdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were lower by 101 points, at 25,365 while S&P 500 futures were down by 10 points, at 2739 points as of 6:48 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were lower by 36 points, at 6,991.
Oil prices fall on gloomy economic outlook
Crude oil futures dropped nearly 2% on Friday after the President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi said that economy of the Eurozone was in “a period of continued weakness and pervasive uncertainty”. The bank announced a major policy U-turn, revealing plans for fresh measures to revive the weakening economy.
Interest rates will remain at their current levels at least through the end of 2019, the bank said. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 96 cents, or 1.7%, to $55.71. Brent oil was down $1.22, or 1.84%, at $65.08 while U.S. crude oil futures traded 94 cents, or 1.66% lower to $55.72.