Friday, April 6, 2018
What to watch today
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the jobs report for March, the week’s biggest economic report that caps what’s been a busy week for markets and the economy. Economists expect that 185,000 nonfarm payrolls were added in March while the unemployment rate is expected to fall to a new post-crisis low of 4%.
Elsewhere on the economics calendar, the February report on consumer credit balances will be released in the afternoon. On the earnings calendar, no major announcements are expected.
Investors will also look to finish the week on a positive note as stocks rallied again on Thursday with the Dow now having gained about 1,000 from its Wednesday-morning lows.
Trump proposes $100 billion more in new tariffs on China: President Donald Trump said on Thursday he had instructed U.S. trade officials to consider $100 billion in additional tariffs on China, fueling an already heated trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies. Trump said in a statement the further tariffs were being considered “in light of China’s unfair retaliation” against earlier U.S. trade actions that included $50 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods. [Reuters]
Proxy advisers recommend against GE keeping auditor KPMG: Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services on Thursday recommended that shareholders of General Electric Co. (GE) vote against keeping accounting firm KPMG as the company’s auditor because of “concerns about GE’s previously undisclosed liabilities and accounting practices.” Another proxy advisory firm, Glass, Lewis & Co, on Tuesday also recommended that GE shareholders vote against the ratification of KMPG as the company’s auditor. [Reuters]
BlackRock to offer new funds that exclude stocks of gun makers and retailers including Walmart: BlackRock (BLK) is rolling out new products that specifically avoid investing in companies that make or sell firearms for civilian use, in response to customer interest as pressure on the nation’s gun industry intensifies. The world’s largest asset manager has created two new exchange-traded funds and a series of new index-tracking products for pensions and employee retirement plans that exclude stocks of gun makers and large gun retailers. [CNBC]
Nafta trio meets amid growing optimism for deal: Senior ministers from the three Nafta countries are gathering in Washington amid growing signs of optimism that they could find common ground on the toughest issues. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will meet with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts Friday, the first such high-level trilateral negotiating session since March 5. Talks have warmed considerably, raising hopes of some kind of agreement in principle soon despite warnings that key gaps remain. [Bloomberg]
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