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Stocks Squeeze Higher Ahead of Holiday NFP Report


Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

US stocks squeezed higher ahead of the three-day weekend, which includes the March NFP report on tomorrow's Good Friday market holiday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4% to 2066.95, reclaiming some of yesterday's losses, despite yet another round of mixed economic data.

Initial jobless claims were 268,000 last week, which beat the 286,000 consensus

Continuing claims were 2,325,000, just under the expected 2,405,000.

The US Trade Balance declined to -$35.4 billion in February from $-41.2 billion. The recent West Cost port shutdowns contributed to the drop.

The ISM New York Index was 50 in March, representing a big miss relative to the 62 reading expected by economists. It was 63.1 last month.

Crude oil dropped intraday on a tentative Iranian nuclear deal. European Union Foreign Affairs Minister Federica Mogherini said that Iran and six major world powers agreed on key parameters for a deal, paving the way for an official accord in the future. However, crude oil finished well off the lows as most traders expected the announcement, meaning the news may have been priced in.

Greece was back on the radar after telling creditors it will run out of funds by April 9. At that point, Greece will choose between repaying 450 million euros worth of IMF loans, or paying its own salaries and pensions. It favors the latter.

The widely watched biotech sector, which led the market up early in the year, lagged for the third straight day. The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index fell 0.1% to $339.70 after a small rally fizzled out.

US Gold futures fell 0.6% to $1205.50 as the dollar rose and traders took profits from the recent rally.

In stock news, CarMax (KMX) shares surged 9.3 after the company reported much better-than-expected earnings.

And Simon Property Group (SPG), which was recently rejected in its effort to buy Macerich (MAC), announced a $2 billlion share buyback program this morning. Simon shares rose 0.7% today.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

US Markets are closed tomorrow in observance of Good Friday.

However, the eargerly anticipated March jobs report will be announced at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect 245,000 nonfarm payrolls to be added, and a 5.5% unemployment rate.

There are no major companies reporting earnings on Friday or Monday. There are also no significant international economic data releases.

So the action Monday will likely be largely influenced by the jobs numbers.

Twitter: @T3Live

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