By Markus Heitkoetter
Stocks ended the session slightly higher.
Today’s trading session was almost identical to yesterday’s. After opening the day lower, stocks spent the rest of the day working their way back into positive territory.
With gains across the board, the S&P closed above 2100 for the first time since April 20th. And the NASDAQ extended its winning streak to 7 straight days!
Here’s where the major indices ended the day:
The S&P finished with a 0.3% gain. Up 6 points, the S&P ended at 2,105.
The DOW ended 0.3% higher. Adding just 49 points, the DOW closed at 17,839.
The NASDAQ was up 0.4%. With a 19 point gain, the NASDAQ finished at 4,971.
Today’s rally in the indices was helped out by a strong move in Crude Oil (CL).
Crude Oil opened the day lower, but rallied after today’s Crude Oil Inventory release. The report showed a smaller decrease in inventories than expected (down 1.4 million vs. the 2.7 million inventory decrease that was forecast). CL managed to erase the early losses and ended the day at $49.08 a barrel with a 0.1% gain.
Tomorrow is the big day with all eyes on the morning Jobs Report.
It’s normal for the monthly Jobs Report to get a lot of attention. But with the Fed trying to time their next rate hike, tomorrow’s report takes on even more significance. Strong jobs data could be what the Fed needs to support a rate hike in June. But weakness in the job market could force the Fed to wait until July to raise rates, or even later this year.
The first batch of jobs related data came out today. ADP Non-Farm Employment Change was inline with expectations (173,000 jobs vs. a 174,000 forecast). On the other hand, Unemployment Claims were slightly lower than expected, with 173,000 claims vs. a 174,000 forecast.
Here are tomorrow’s key reports…the Average Hourly Earnings, Non-Farm Employment Change and the Unemployment Rate will be reported at 8:30am ET, followed by ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI and Factory Orders at 10:00am ET. We’ll also have FOMC Member Brainard speaking at 12:30pm ET.