Here are the top news, trends, and analysis that investors need to get their trading day started:
1. Stocks relatively flat after another S&P 500 record high
People are seen on Wall Street in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City on March 19, 2021.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
US stock futures were mixed on Friday, the day after modest gains pushed the S&P 500 to another closing record and the Dow Jones Industrial Average within 24 points of Monday’s record close. The Nasdaq was the real winner on Thursday, posting gains of 1% in technical names. The Nasdaq was less than 2% from its record high in February. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell backed stocks Thursday, calling the US economy’s recovery from the Covid pandemic “uneven”. Temporarily higher prices would not lead to worrying inflation. These comments reassured investors that the highly accommodative monetary policy of the Covid era is not going to change anytime soon.
2. The yields on government bonds rise according to the data on producer prices
The 10-year government bond yield rose but stayed below 1.7%, hitting a 14-month high in March. The Labor Department reported Friday morning that producer prices rose 1% in March, with core inflation excluding food and energy rising 0.5%. Both were stronger than expected. A website outage at the Department of Labor delayed the normal 8:30 a.m.CET by about 25 minutes. The bond market has been at odds with the Fed this year as traders pushed yields higher, believing that stronger economic growth and inflation will force central bankers to hike short-term interest rates near zero and the massive ones Decrease asset purchases earlier than forecast.
3. Covid cases in the US are on the rise even as vaccinations go up
A member of the Maryland National Guard hands out post-it notes with numbers to people who arrive without an appointment at the mass coronavirus vaccination center at Hagerstown Premium Outlets on April 7, 2021 in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
U.S. coronavirus cases are on the rise as infections skyrocket in many parts of the world. Even if the US vaccinates about 3 million people every day and nearly 20% of the American population is fully vaccinated, the average daily Covid cases and deaths averaged over 66,000 and nearly 1,000, respectively. In a rapidly deteriorating situation in Brazil, that country was only the third country after the US and Peru to report a 24-hour list of Covid deaths with more than 4,000 deaths. In the state of Rio de Janeiro, the emergency services have been the most strained since the beginning of the pandemic.
4. Florida is suing CDC for cruises to resume US crossings
Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas cruise ship docks in Miami, Florida, in Port Miami on March 2, 2021.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that the state would file a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He demanded that cruise ships be allowed to resume US voyages immediately. Richard Fain, CEO of Royal Caribbean, said he would like the cruise industry to be “treated very much like the airlines” that have been allowed to fly. However, Fain was optimistic about the possible resumption of U.S. crossings in the second half of this year, citing President Joe Biden’s goal for society to return to normal appearances by July 4th.
5. Amazon leadership expands in Alabama warehouse union vote
A RWDSU union representative holds a sign outside the Amazon fulfillment warehouse at the center of a union action on March 29, 2021 in Bessemer, Alabama.
Elijah Nouvelage | Getty Images
With roughly half the ballots counted, Amazon had a dominant lead in US workers’ historic union formation vote in one of the e-commerce giant’s warehouses in Alabama. The count continues on Friday. There were hundreds of contested ballots, most of which were challenged by Amazon. Approximately 55% of eligible workers in Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse voted. For many years, major unions have been quietly talking to Amazon workers about the organization. You faced major challenges in the United States, where none of the company’s warehouses are organized. Unions are widespread among Amazon employees in Europe.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all market action like a pro on CNBC Pro. Get the latest information on the pandemic on CNBC’s coronavirus blog.