Improved US Job Market Likely to Boost Market

Following the three-day Easter weekend, stock market investors return to a week ahead that holds some promise of better things as news on the US job market indicates that the economy may have reached a genuine turning point. Prior to the Good Friday closure of the market, it was revealed that employers had added up to 162,000 jobs in March, a monthly figure not seen in more than three years. Although economists were expecting 184,000 jobs to be added for March, the report was nonetheless greeted positively as it is seen as a move in the right direction for the labor market. A separate survey revealed that the unemployment rate remained at 9.7%, as was expected.

The week ahead includes February’s Pending Home Sales index on Monday, which is expected to have fallen by one percent, after a drop in sales of 7.6 percent in the January. Monday also sees the release of the Institute for Supply Management services sector index, which is anticipated to have risen from the March figure of 50.0 to 53.6. The minutes from the latest Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting are due for release on Tuesday afternoon.

The Federal Reserve‘s consumer credit report for February is due out on Wednesday morning, and experts have predicted that the figure will have risen $1.6 billion, following January’s increase of $5 billion. Also on Wednesday morning is the release of the US government’s report on weekly oil inventories.

The US Department of Labor releases its weekly jobless claims report on Thursday, with expectations that claims will have fallen from 439,000 to 433,000. Moreover, continuing claims are likely to have dropped by around 12,000 to 4,650,000. Thursday morning will see sales reports for March from the nation’s retailers start trickling in, with investors no doubt being keenly interested as to whether consumers will continue with the trend that pushed sales up by four percent in February. The Commerce Department’s report on wholesale inventories is expected to have risen by 0.3 percent in February following a drop of 0.1 percent in January.