Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Fall; US Unemployment Rate Increases To 4.4% In March

Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded down 0.60% to 21,285.02 while the NASDAQ fell 0.24% to 7,469.37. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.31% to 2,519.09.

The U.S. is now the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with the highest number of cases around the world. U.S. reported a total of 245,500 coronavirus cases with around 6,000 deaths. Spain confirmed a total of over 117,700 coronavirus cases with 10,900 deaths, while Italy reported a total of at least 115,200 confirmed cases and 13,900 deaths. In total, there are at least 1,026,900 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 53,900 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Energy shares climbed 0.7% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Crescent Point Energy Corp. CPG, up 10%, and CONSOL Energy Inc. CEIX, up 10%.

In trading on Friday, communication services shares fell 0.7%.

Top Headline

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released employment data for the month of March, and the numbers were staggering.

The nonfarm payroll number came in at -701,000, well worse than consensus economist expectations of -100,000. The unemployment rate increased 0.9% to 4.4%.

Equities Trading UP

PaySign, Inc. PAYS shares shot up 22% to $4.89 after the company reported full-year results.

Shares of Enel Americas S.A. ENIA got a boost, shooting 15% to $6.67.

Franklin Covey Co. FC shares were also up, gaining 11% to $17.11 following Q2 results. Franklin Covey reported Q2 earnings of $0.08 per share, versus a year-ago loss of $0.25 per share.


Equities Trading DOWN

Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation MIC shares tumbled 28% to $17.27 after the company announced it will suspend its quarterly dividend and withdraw its guidance. RBC Capital also downgraded the company's stock from Outperform to Sector Perform and lowered its price target from $34 to $26..

Shares of Ladder Capital Corp LADR were down 23% to $3.5350 after B. Riley downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral and lowered its price target from $19 to $7.50 per share.

Mr. Cooper Group Inc COOP was down, falling 20% to $5.40.


In commodity news, oil traded up 4.5% to $26.46, while gold traded down 0.5% to $1,629.60.

Silver traded down 0.3% Friday to $14.605, while copper fell 0.4% to $2.2095.

Euro zone

European shares were mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.6% the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.2%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 1.75%. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.2%, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.8% while UK shares fell 1.1%.


The US economy lost 701,000 jobs in March, while unemployment rate surged to 4.4%.

US Services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 39.8 in March, versus February’s reading of 49.4.

The ISM non-manufacturing PMI declined to 52.5 in March, versus 57.3 in the prior month.

The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Posted In: Mid-Morning Market UpdateEarningsNewsEurozoneCommoditiesGlobalIntraday UpdateMarkets