Market Extra: Why Good Friday complicates how stock-market traders will digest March jobs report

by | Apr 5, 2023 | Stock Market

U.S. stock exchanges will be closed on Good Friday, but that won’t stop the government from releasing the March jobs report. So how will investors digest the figures? Good Friday is a market holiday but it isn’t a federal holiday, so the U.S. Labor Department will release the employment data at its usual time of 8:30 a.m. Eastern. While U.S. stock exchanges are closed, CME stock-index futures will trade until 9:15 a.m. ET.

But that’s a venue dominated by institutional investors and professional traders. “You have to be a pretty specific kind of a money manager to want to trade on that number on a macro basis” in the futures market, said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Atlanta-based Globalt Investments, in a phone interview. “I wouldn’t suggest to the average person that they would want to get involved in that.” Monday is likely to offer a clearer sign of what investors make of the jobs data. “If anything, it will avoid that immediate knee-jerk reaction” that often follows major data releases, said Randy Frederick, managing director for trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. “It will allow three days for people to digest the data, look at all the components of it, and make rational decisions come Monday morning.” There will be an abbreviated U.S. Treasury debt tradi …

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