Market Overview

Preview: Friday Morning's Economic Data (XRT, BBY, DIA, IYJ, VAW)


Investors will have a slew of economic data to mull over this morning. The jobs report, which will be released at 8:30 a.m., will be at the forefront of the action. The data is sure to move the market which has been indecisive in this week's trade.

Included in the jobs report will be Nonfarm Payrolls which increased by 192,000 in February. The consensus number this morning is an expected addition of 190,000 jobs.

Manufacturing Payrolls are expecting to show a gain of 30,000 jobs. Last month saw a jump of 33,000.

Nonfarm Private Payrolls will be reported as well. The private sector, which beat expectations last month by 24,000 jobs, is expected to have grown by a consensus figure of 200,000.

After posting no gain in last month's report, Hourly Earnings are foreseen to have risen by a consensus of 0.2%.

The Street is forecasting a slight rise in the Average Workweek from 34.2 to 34.3 hours worked.

The all-important unemployment rate will finish out the jobs report figures. Consensus estimates expect the overall number to mirror last month's report and remain at 8.9%. The unemployment rate fell below 9% for the first time since early 2009 last month. A number back above 9% could prove worrisome for traders and money managers.

If numbers turn out to be positive, look for the retail sector to put in nice gains. Optimism regarding the jobs market is sure to lead to a boost in consumer spending and should bode well for the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSE: XRT). If you are yearning for something a bit more adventurous, watch shares of Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) which have been beaten down since disappointing earnings last Thursday. Best Buy could benefit from an optimistic employment forecast as discretionary spending would be expected to rise.

Not to be overlooked, ISM Index numbers are to be reported at 10a.m. Last month's report saw solid growth in the manufacturing sector as the ISM Manufacturing Index rose from 60.8 to 61.4. Consensus estimates are for the number to be 61.0 for March.

ISM Prices Paid looks to come in at 83.0. Last month's was slightly lower at 82.0. Whichever way you think the numbers will play out, a straightforward way to trade the manufacturing reports are with broad based industrial and materials ETFs such as SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA), iShares Dow Jones US Industrials (NYSE: IYJ), or Vanguard Materials ETF (NYSE: VAW). Construction Spending will also be released at 10a.m and The Street is expecting the number to be -0.1%. The prior number came in at -0.7%.


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