The unemployment rate dipped back to 3.5% in February – matching the 50-year low also achieved in December – courtesy of February’s jobs report that came in well ahead of expectations.
However, it remains to be seen if this trend will hold up as the coronavirus outbreak continues to weigh on the global economy. (Forbes)
A strong jobs market has been a key underpinning to domestic consumers’ willingness to go out and spend money. The continuation of that would be key to helping the U.S. economy weather the widening coronavirus outbreak. But if the outbreak gets worse here in the United States, that trend could start to falter.
That’s one of the things investors seem particularly worried about amid the fallout from the coronavirus, and this morning, as they continued to shun equities even after the jobs report, investors kept on buying up U.S. government debt. Before the jobs report came out, the yield on the 10-year Treasury had sunk to a new all-time low below 0.7%.
If the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) ends up finishing today lower, it will be its seventh Friday in a row of down closes. But something to consider watching for during the day is whether the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is able to push back above the 2940 level.
While investors and traders seem to have generally been focusing on the negative, there have been some bright spots to consider this week. These include the Fed’s surprise rate cut, an IMF announcement of a $50 billion aid package, and news that Congress passed an $8.3 billion emergency spending package to combat the spread of the virus.