Daily Stock Market News March 31, 2016

Stock Market News March 31, 2016:  Stocks closed flat today, with the Dow and S&P down slightly and the Nasdaq down less than one point.  The employment picture continues to be strong in the U.S. and several foreign economies announced signs of improvement in recent days. Microsoft had a great quarter.  However, overall, corporate profits and earnings are down.

U.S. Stock Market Closing Prices March 31, 2016:

Dow Jones Industrial Averages:  17,685.09   -31.57

S & P 500:  2,059.74   -4.21

NASDAQ:  4,869.85   +0.55

Major Events Affecting Today’s Stock Market:

The major market indices closed mixed today, virtually unchanged.  The Dow was down 0.18 percent, the S&P 500 dipped 0.20 percent, and the Nasdaq barely changed, up 0.01 percent.  The number of layoffs in the U.S. dropped in March; jobless claims went up a little, but remained low.  Several foreign economies appear to be improving, as well.  However, corporate earnings and profits are down.

Positive Stock Market News March 31, 2016

  • Layoffs in the U.S. dropped to 48, 207 in March.
  • Although U.S. jobless claims rose by 11,000 to 276,000 at the end of March, which was a two month high, claims were still hovering near recent low levels.
  • The U.S. announced they may soon let governments and banks worldwide use the U.S. dollar in some cases, which would facilitate their ability to do business with Iran.
  • According to Bloomberg, Turkey’s economy is growing at the fastest pace since 2011.
  • Germany’s Federal Statistics Office said that employment was adjusted up by 50,000 in February, resulting in a labor force of over 43 million.
  • The Dow was up 7.1 percent for the month of March.
  • Gold futures settled higher, showing their  best quarterly performance since 1986.
  • McDonald’s is expanding into China with 1,250 new restaurants over the next 5 years.
  • U.S. crude closed nearly flat, but ended the month with the biggest March rally in 14 years.
  • Bill to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 a hour by 2022 passed the state assembly and is now headed to the Senate and governor, neither of which is expected to present a problem.  Learn more about the details of the plan at:  “California Minimum Wage Will Gradually Increase to $15.”

Tesla shocked everyone with lines of people waiting to put a down payment on a new car that may not be available for a couple of years!

Microsoft also had a strong first quarter:

Negative Stock Market News March 31, 2016

  • The U.S. dollar is ending the quarter with its worst quarterly performance since 2010.  It hit a 5 month low vs. the Euro.
  • Banking and telecom stocks lead European markets lower; the Stoxx 600 dropped 1 percent.
  • Despite the strong performance of companies like Tesla and Microsoft, mentioned above, overall corporate profits are down -11 percent year over year; first quarter earnings growth estimate is -5.5 percent.

Economic Reports in April

  • April 1 – Employment Situation for March 2016
  • April 5 – Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for Feb. 2016
  • April 8 – America’s Young Adults at 29: Labor Market Activity, Education, and Household Composition
  • April 14 – Consumer Price Index for March 2016
  • April 22 – Employment Characteristics of Families Annual 2015 report
  • April 28 – College Enrollment and Work Activity of High School Graduates Annual 2015 report
  • April 29 – Employment Cost Index First Quarter 2016

Economic Reports in May

  • May 6 – Employment Situation for April, 2016
  • May 10 – Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for March, 2016
  • May 13 – Producer Price Index for April 2016
  • May 17 – Consumer Price Index for April 2016

 

Resources:

http://www.bls.gov/schedule/news_release/201604_sched.htm

http://www.breakingnews.com/ and yahoo.com/finance

Charts and statistics from: https://twitter.com/StockTwits and CNNMoney


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