Thursday, April 3, 2008

Stocks Poised for a Fall

The follow-up to Tuesday's massive rally has been less than impressive. For the past two days, stocks have wallowed around the flatline in anticipation of Friday's March non-farm payrolls report.

That report is due out prior to the opening of the markets and analysts are not very encouraged following Thursday's reading on initial jobless claims for the week ended March 29, which jumped to 407,000 from 369,000, and was the largest number of claims in 2 1/2 years.

Forecasts are for a loss of between anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 jobs in the domestic workforce, and that comes on the heels of three consecutive months of similarly poor results. With the economy shedding jobs in such an expedient manner, the levitation act that the Fed has orchestrated on Wall Street is unlikely to last.

Dow 12,626.03 +20.20; NASDAQ 2,363.30 +1.90; S&P 500 1,369.31 +1.78; NYSE Composite 9,140.64 +36.18

Advancing issues edged decliners, 3348-2875, but new lows beat out new highs once again by a narrow margin, 119-85.

Oil backed off 98 cents to $103.85 per barrel, while gold gained $9.40 to $909.60. Silver tagged along, rising 30 cents to $17.48 per ounce.

There's plenty on the minds of investors right now and some of it will be revealed tomorrow at 8:30 am. The news is unlikely to be positive, but the market's response will be vitally important going forward into 1st quarter earnings season.

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