Good morning and welcome to the stock market today! Thankfully, the week is almost over and the weekend is so close. Before we get there though, we have one more day of trading. So what will the stock market do today? And what do you need to watch? Dive in with InvestorPlace below.
To start, it looks like a bit of an odd day on Wall Street. Top movers include Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Fulgent Genetics (NASDAQ:FLGT) and Costco (NASDAQ:COST). That is not a trio of names you typically see moving the market.
So what is going on? If you want to know what the stock market will do today, here are the top three stories to watch.
Americans are getting jobs, and investors are excited.
This morning the U.S. Department of Labor released its estimate-beating February jobs report. We learned that the economy added 379,000 payrolls in the month, beating expectations for just 200,000. Importantly, this is also a meaningful sign of growth after lackluster reports in December and January. Last month saw growth by just 49,000 payrolls, and it sounded an alarm on Wall Street.
We also learned that the unemployment rate fell slightly from 6.3% in January to 6.2% in February. This also beat expectations for the rate to hold steady.
So what does this all really mean? February was a much better month for the economy than January. Covid-19 cases started to come down, and more and more Americans are receiving vaccines. Combined, this has allowed for states to ease some restrictions.
However, we are also still 9.9 million jobs off the pre-pandemic level. There is work to be done, but with a third vaccine from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) in the rotation, we have reason for optimism.
Reddit is in a weird position.
Following a moonshot rally in GameStop (NYSE:GME), AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) and so many other retail stocks, the social media platform moved in the mainstream. My mom knows about it now. My friends all consider themselves day traders. Instagram influencers that once sold me skinny tea and hair-growth gummies now are encouraging their followers to hold the line.
That power with Reddit still holds strong. This week posters on r/WallStreetBets identified new short squeeze targets and promptly saw results. Tanger Factory Outlets (NYSE:SKT) rocketed higher before bearish news from the Fed pulled the market down. Mortgage originators UWM Holdings (NYSE:UWMC) and Rocket Companies (NYSE:RKT) simply shot up. Today, talk of options expiring on beloved GME stock has the subreddit in a frenzy.
Simply put, r/WallStreetBets is now in the mainstream. And with 9.4 million members, it has helped make Reddit an even bigger deal.
Reddit is running up… and it may be running straight to Wall Street. We learned today that the company has appointed Drew Vollero as its first chief financial officer. Vollero will help build out financial and audit functions, and ultimately, help get Reddit ready for an IPO. While others in the C-Suite have yet to set a timeline, but the company is working toward that end game.
Oil stocks are bubbling higher today.
As InvestorPlace contributor William White wrote this morning, OPEC and its allies have agreed to keep production cuts in place through April. This will keep pressure off oil prices, and allow us to see further gains. Plus, the United States has said that it will not resume high production levels at any point in 2021. Instead, companies will work to save up a rainy day fund for further chaos in the market.
Here we have a bullish supply-demand story for oil. Keeping production contained will help on the supply side. A return to normal will help on the demand side. Predictions right now suggest that with the vaccine rollout underway, we will see consumers start traveling at greater rates. That should boost demand for oil and support prices in 2021 and beyond.
Winners today? Brent crude is up 3.5% to prices above $69. West Texas Intermediate is up 3.3%, touching just below 66%. And oil stocks are following. Top movers include Exxon, Marathon (NYSE:MRO) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX).
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Sarah Smith is a Web Content Producer with InvestorPlace.com.
The post What Will the Stock Market Do Today? 3 Big Stories to Watch appeared first on InvestorPlace.
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