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Job growth slows; Trump trade threats; Markets suffer

1. Jobs report: Will Friday bring another strong jobs report?Economists forecast that the US ...

Posted: Apr 6, 2018 10:57 AM

1. Jobs report: Will Friday bring another strong jobs report?

Economists forecast that the US economy gained 185,000 jobs in March, which would be another solid gain after the 313,000 jobs created in February.

The labor department data will be published at 8:30 a.m. ET.

If the economy added jobs in March, it will mark the 90 consecutive month of job gains. That streak is a record, according to government figures going back to the 1930s.

Investors will be watching wage growth, which slowed a bit in February to 2.6%.

Faster than expected wage growth could renew inflation fears on Wall Street and raise the prospect of faster interest rate increases by the US Federal Reserve.

2. Trump trade threats: President Donald Trump ratcheted up the trade war rhetoric with China again on Thursday evening.

"In light of China's unfair retaliation, I have instructed the [United States Trade Representative] to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate," the president said in a statement.

The Chinese government responded by reiterating that it doesn't want "to fight a trade war, but we are not afraid of fighting it."

Earlier this week, the United States announced new tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. Beijing responded within hours by announcing $50 billion worth of tariffs on US goods.

The latest threats unnerved investors. US stock futures were pointing lower and the VIX volatility index spiked 7%.

Analysts hope the rhetoric will not translate into a full-on trade war.

3. Global market overview: European stocks opened lower on Friday, while markets in Asia ended the session mixed. The benchmark index in Hong Kong gained, while stocks in Japan and Korea lost 0.3%.

Markets in mainland China were closed.

4. Thursday market recap: The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 1% on Thursday. It was the index's third gain in a row, extending a big comeback on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 added 0.7% and the Nasdaq gained 0.5%.

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5. Economics: US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell is expected to give a speech on the US economic outlook at 10:30 a.m. ET.

US consumer credit statistics will be released 2:00 p.m. ET.

Canada's jobs report is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET.

German industrial production slumped unexpectedly in February, according to data from the country's economy ministry. Economists have suggested the drop could be a blip caused by cold weather.

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6. Coming this week:
Friday - Jobs report

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