US Stock Market Analysis: February

There are several reports that are supposed to be released next week. It is through this reports that the investors are hoping to use to evaluate the performance of the US stock market with majority hoping that it will be built on a strong two-week run which look to a host of data which will be highlighted by the monthly jobs report, for signs the economy is improving.

The investors’ concerns about the recession has diminished as the benchmark index has rallied approximately 5 percent in the past two weeks, this is its best two-week run in a year, and is up about 4 percent from February and the oil prices starting to stabilize with a barrel going for approximately $30.

The economic data is expected to take the centre stage after the earnings report has been released. Even though the report in January indicated that job gains had slowed down more than it was expected, Nonfarm payroll is expected to increase by approximately one hundred and ninety three thousand jobs as unemployment rate is expected to be held at approximately 4.9 percent.

The data firm Market is expected also to release reports on activity in the manufacturing and services sectors where the manufacturing is expected to remain soft as the data will be used to see if there are signs that the sector is close to bottoming. Service activity data will be of more interest to investors as an early reading by Market showed that the sector had contacted for the first time regardless of initially having been a bright spot in the economy.

Investors have since prepared themselves should the report be weak on the manufacturing sector, but a reading that removes the soft preliminary reading on the services sector will be great. In any case should the data indicate to an economy that is gaining up, this could definitely lead to reduction of enthusiasm for stocks.

To sum up oil prices will always remain a major factor for equities since equities have always been closely linked with performance of crude oil in the market and there is likely to be pressure on stocks if there is another downturn as politics can also lead to heightened volatility with the looming nomination contest coming up.

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