The U.S. is expected to have added fewer jobs in March than in February, and there are plenty of excuses, including government belt-tightening, an early Easter, and unusually cold weather.
The consensus estimate is for 200,000 nonfarm payrolls, according to Reuters, but the whisper number is about 50,000 lower, and some economists Thursday were still lowering their forecasts due to weaker jobs-related data in the days ahead of Friday’s release. The 8:30 a.m. employment report is widely expected to show the unemployment rate stayed unchanged at 7 .7 percent.
Stocks finished Thursday higher, boosted by a big asset buying program announced by the Bank of Japan. But buyers rushed into Treasurys, pushing yields near the lows of the year, as traders bet the payrolls number would fall short of expectations.
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