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Stock futures are flat after S&P 500 notches third straight week of gains

Traders on the floor of the NYSE, March 25, 2022.

Source: NYSE

U.S. stock index futures were flat during overnight trading Sunday, after the S&P 500 posted a third straight week of gains.

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 14 points. S&P 500 futures were flat, while Nasdaq 100 futures declined 0.14%.

Stocks advanced on Friday — the first day of the second quarter — with the Dow and S&P gaining 0.4% and 0.34%, respectively. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.29% and also finished the week in the green.

The Dow, meantime, snapped a two-week winning streak, falling 0.12%.

Friday’s positive session came despite March’s employment report, which fell short of economists’ estimates. The U.S. economy added 431,000 jobs during the month, while estimates from Dow Jones called for 490,000.

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“Strong gains on the employment front continue to signal a green light for investors despite multi-decade highs in inflation and concerns over higher rates and Fed tightening,” noted Peter Essele, head of portfolio management for Commonwealth Financial Network. “The economy appears to be in exit velocity mode, with the only concern being the amount of labor supply available to fuel the robust recovery,” he added.

An often-cited recession signal was triggered Thursday evening when the the 2-year and 10-year treasury yields inverted for the first time since 2019.

“We think the current flattening is due to the concern that the Fed is behind the curve on hikes and will tighten policy beyond neutral, which will hurt growth,” TD Securities said in a note to clients.

Investors are also monitoring the latest developments in Ukraine. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sunday that Western nations will impost additional sanctions on Russia in the coming days.

“Equity and bond markets continued to send conflicting signals about the economic outlook,” UBS said in a recent note to clients. “We caution against over-interpreting either signal. Yield curve inversions have historically predicted recessions with a long and uncertain lag, while hopes over cease-fire talks have ebbed and flowed,” the firm added.

On Wednesday the Federal Open Market Committee will publish the minutes from the central bank’s March meeting, giving investors a deeper understanding into how the Fed views market conditions.

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