3 Numbers Driving Markets This Week

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

Today is the final day of the first quarter, which means earnings season is just around the corner. But before we get there, the market will have its sights set on progress in the labor market, which will drive the market this week. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) are near all-time highs, and a strong jobs report will keep the momentum going, while a weak report could make the markets rethink their bullishness.

The first number I'll be watching this week is the ADP employment change on Wednesday. This is a private reading of employment, similar to nonfarm payrolls, but it doesn't match the government reading exactly. Economists are expecting 200,000 jobs to be added, and this should be a preview of the rest of the week.

On Friday, economists expect nonfarm payrolls to increase by 185,000, highlighted by a rise of 210,000 in private payrolls. That's below the 236,000 jobs created in February, but it's still a strong reading, considering the challenges facing the U.S. in the first half of this year. For markets, this is a very important reading, because it will drive consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of our economy. 

At the same time nonfarm payrolls are announced, the government will give us the unemployment rate. Unemployment currently stands at 7.7%, but economists expect a slight increase to 7.8% as more people enter the market. The unemployment rate is probably the most volatile of these three numbers, but it's psychologically important, because it's the best indicator of the ease of getting a job. 

Progress in the labor market has been slow but steady, and we're still trying to get an idea of the impact that higher taxes and lower government spending will have on the economy. These three numbers will give an import progress report.

To learn more about a few ETFs that have great promise for delivering profits to shareholders in a recovering global economy, check out The Motley Fool's special free report "3 ETFs Set to Soar During the Recovery." Just click here to access it now.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2338421, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/25/2016 1:48:35 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 1 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,261.45 -131.01 -0.71%
S&P 500 2,164.69 -12.49 -0.57%
NASD 5,305.75 -33.78 -0.63%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/23/2016 4:55 PM
^DJI $18261.45 Down -131.01 -0.71%
^GSPC $2164.69 Down -12.49 -0.57%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars