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Stock market news live updates: Stock futures hold gains as March payrolls blow away estimates

Emily McCormick
·Reporter
·5 min read
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Stock futures rose Friday morning after a record-setting day on Wall Street, poised to add to market gains after data revealed the U.S. economy created a whopping 916,000 jobs last month

Regular U.S. stock trading will not take place on Friday in observance of the Good Friday holiday, and equity futures trading closed 9:15 am. Yet on Monday, investors are likely to take heart from the monthly jobs report, which gave a huge hint that the economic rebound is gaining momentum, even before massive fiscal stimulus takes root. Payrolls blew away consensus estimates, posting 916,000 jobs and the most since August. The jobless rate edged lower by 0.2 percentage points to a new pandemic-era low of 6.0%.

"While we still have a long way to go to repair the damage that was done to the economy last year, we’re making good progress," Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance, said in an email Friday morning. "The improving job market should increase consumer spending and that coupled with the twin tailwinds of continued monetary and fiscal stimulus is what is going to propel the stock market higher this year."

Contracts on the S&P 500 edged higher after the index closed above 4,000 for the first time ever on Thursday. Technology stocks led the advances, and the Nasdaq outperformed with a gain of 1.8% during the session.

"What’s happening is, markets are pricing for perfection right now. And when I say perfection, perfection in the sense that we’re going to have a smooth reopening of the economy and that we’re going to continue to have vaccinations go smoothly and that we’re not going to have any hiccups," Kevin Nicholson, RiverFront Investment Group global fixed income co-chief investment officer, told Yahoo Finance. "But I think that first-quarter earnings are going to be good, and it’s setting up that there’s momentum that’s going into the second quarter.

Despite the recent rotation into cyclical and value stocks, with small caps as well as the energy, financial and industrial sectors outperforming for the year-to-date, Big Tech stocks were in fact the biggest contributor to the blue-chip index's latest milestone. According to an analysis from S&P Dow Jones Indices, Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB) and Alphabet (GOOGL) contributed 43.8% of the latest 1,000-point gain in the S&P 500. And Thursday's tech-led session could be a "harbinger" of leadership trends to come in the stock market, according to Chris Konstantinos, RiverFront chief investment strategist.

"I think Q2 is going to be driven more by corporate earnings and a little bit less by some sort of positive mean reversion in valuation multiples off deep cyclicals," Konstantinos told Yahoo Finance. "So what we’re recommending is a barbell of secular growth stories and some value and cyclical plays, but not going whole-hog into the [cyclicals] because we believe a big part of that move has already happened." 

8:55 a.m. ET: Tesla's first-quarter deliveries top expectations 

Tesla (TSLA) posted first-quarter deliveries that easily exceeded consensus expectations, extending momentum after the electric car-maker handed over a record number of vehicles in 2020.

Deliveries totaled 184,800 in the first three months of 2020. This exceeded consensus expectations for 177,822 vehicles, according to data from Refinitiv. It also more than doubled the 88,400 vehicles the company delivered in the same quarter last year. 

"Lets be clear, with chip shortages and related production issues the Street was thinking a 160k-165k numbers was in the cards with this quarter a massive home run in the eyes of the bulls," Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote in a note Friday morning. "We believe China and Europe were particularly robust this quarter as the trajectory now puts Musk & Co. to exceed 850k for the year which is well ahead of whisper expectations. With a green tidal wave kicked off by Biden this week in the US, and global EV demand skyrocketing (as also seen in the Nio and Xpeng numbers) going after a $5 trillion TAM [total addressable market] over the next decade, we believe these delivery numbers are a paradigm and sentiment shifter for the space going forward." 

8:30 a.m. ET: Futures hold gains after jobs data

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 4,025.25, +15.25 (+0.38%)

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 33,159.00, +122.00 (+0.37%)

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,382.75+66.75 (+0.50%)

7:16 a.m. ET: Futures trade higher, holding onto overnight gains 

Here's where equity futures were trading Friday morning:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 4,020.75, +10.75 points, or +0.27%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 33,099.00, +62 points or 0.19%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,350.50, +34.5 points or 0.26%

6:00 p.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures tick up as overnight session begins 

Here's where markets were trading Thursday evening.

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 4,013.5, +3.5 points, or +0.9% 

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 33,040.00, +3 points or 0.01% 

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,328.50, +12.5 points or 0.09% 

A person walks past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at Wall Street on November 16, 2020 in New York City. - Wall Street stocks rose early following upbeat news on a coronavirus vaccine and merger announcements in the banking and retail industries. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
A person walks past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at Wall Street on November 16, 2020 in New York City. - Wall Street stocks rose early following upbeat news on a coronavirus vaccine and merger announcements in the banking and retail industries. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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