Major averages closed slightly higher Thursday on lower pre-holiday volume before the three-day Good Friday weekend. The S&P 500 and DJIA remain under their respective 50-day moving averages. The unemployment report on Friday showed the U.S. created the fewest new jobs in March in 15 months, with the economy generating just 126,000 new jobs, marking the smallest gain since the end of 2013. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.5% though this figure is highly suspect given that it excludes the large number of workers who have given up looking for work, among other issues.
Average hourly wages rose 0.3%, a slower pace than the 2% average since 2010. This gives the Federal Reserve room to keep interest rates at record low levels.
Futures tanked about 1% on the unemployment report news. Markets may be concerned that another recession could be on the way, or that quantitative easing is not helping the push the U.S. toward a true economic recovery.
Airline stock JetBlue (JBLU) had a pocket pivot on Thursday - Earnings are sharply accelerating, group rank 3. Airline stocks as a group have been weak in recent days, however.
Outsourced IT and lifecycle software development services company Epam Systems (EPAM) had a pocket pivot on Thursday - ROE 26.3%, group rank 19.
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