- Reuters/China Daily
Here is what you need to know.
Friday is jobs day. The US economy added 215,000 jobs in March, topping the 205,000 that was expected. The unemployment rate ticked up to 5%. Additionally, average hourly earnings increased 2.3% compared with a year ago.
Q1 had one of the greatest comebacks in stock market history.Ryan Detrick of LPL Financial noted this was the first time since the fourth quarter of 1933 that the stock market slumped more than 10% in a quarter yet finished in positive territory. The S&P 500 sank to a loss of 11.3% by mid-February but ended the first quarter with a gain of 0.7%.
Saudi Arabia has a plan to end its dependence on oil. Saudi Arabia is planning to build a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund, Bloomberg reports. In a five-hour interview, Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, told Bloomberg the fund would help Saudi Arabia end its dependence on oil. As part of the construction of the fund, Saudi Arabia will go public with no more than 5% of its state-run oil firm Aramco, Bloomberg says. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is down 2.3% at $37.47 a barrel after the news.
Chinese manufacturing bounced back. Data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed that China’s manufacturing sector expanded for the first time in eight months. The 50.2 print for March was an improvement from February’s 49.0 and ahead of the 49.3 that economists had forecast. Additionally, the nonmanufacturing reading also saw a gain, ticking up to 53.8 from February’s reading of 52.7. The Chinese yuan ended Friday down 0.2% at 6.4639 per dollar.
South Korean exports fell for a 15th straight month. South Korean exports, often referred to as “the world’s economic canary in the coal mine,” because of their exposure to the world’s three largest economies, totaled $42.98 billion in March, down 8.2% year-over-year. This marked a 15th straight monthly decline, the largest string of losses in the country’s history, according to Yonhap News Agency. The news wasn’t all bad, as exports increased 18% from February, and the country’s trade surplus expanded to $9.8 billion from $7.4 billion the month earlier. The South Korean won finished weaker by 0.9% at 1,154.03 per dollar.
Japan’s Tankan surveys disappointed. The Tankan survey, which measures sentiment levels for large manufacturers, slumped to +6 for the first quarter from its previous look of +12. The number missed the +8 reading that economists were anticipating and was the lowest print since Q2 2013. The future outlook was even more pessimistic, falling to +3 from +7. The Japanese yen is stronger by 0.3% at 112.22.
Tesla’s Model 3 is here. Thursday night at its Southern California headquarters, Tesla revealed its long-awaited Model 3. The $35,000 car will be used as a platform for future vehicles, with Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggesting it’s “the next logical step of Tesla’s secret master plan.” Musk said the Model 3 would have more than 200 miles of range, go from zero to 60 in less than six seconds, and be expected to get a five-star rating in every safety category. It’s been reported that more than 130,000 preorders have been made.
Global smartphone growth is slowing. The research firm Gartner says global smartphone sales will grow at a single-digit percentage for the first time on record, Reuters reports. The firm forecasts sales growth of just 7% in 2016 thanks to flat sales in both North America and China. “The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end,” research director Ranjit Atwal said in Gartner’s Device Findings forecast. Additionally, Gartner expects PC shipments to decline 1.5% this year before growing in 2017.
Stock markets around the globe are mostly lower. Japan’s Nikkei (-3.6%) tumbled overnight, and France’s CAC (-1.9%) leads the losses in Europe. S&P 500 futures are down 7.50 points at 2,044.00.
US economic data is heavy. After the jobs report, ISM Index, construction spending, and University of Michigan consumer sentiment will all cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. Auto and truck sales will be released throughout the day. The US 10-year yield is higher by 2 basis points at 1.79%.