Global stocks steady, U.S. Treasury yields fall ahead of jobs data

Thu May 5, 2016 5:55pm EDT
 
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By Sam Forgione

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended steady on Thursday as a mixed quarterly earnings season winds down, but Treasury yields fell to two week lows as investors hedged positions ahead of the monthly U.S. government employment report due on Friday.

The U.S. Labor Department's jobs report is forecast to show nonfarm payrolls rose by 202,000 in April while the unemployment rate holds steady at 5.0 percent.

Average hourly earnings are forecast to rise 0.3 percent for the month, taking the year-on-year increase to 2.4 percent, but still below the 3.0 percent gain that economists say is needed for inflation to rise to the Fed's 2.0 percent target.

“The question for non-farm payrolls is the perennial one: how much will the report move the needle for the Fed?" said Aberdeen Asset Management investment manager Luke Bartholomew in London. "The market has pretty much written off a June hike and is skeptical that the Fed will manage even one this year."

WALL ST STOCKS SUPPORTED BY OIL, PRESSURED BY RETAILERS

Wall Street stocks ended little changed with firmer oil prices helping the energy sector but weak earnings undermining the stocks of retailers.

"Investors are in a wait-and-see mode till we get some direction from the jobs report," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.   Continued...

 
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., May 5, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid