Stocks are barely changed ahead of the opening and are likely to trade with some trepidation ahead of a three day holiday weekend. Tomorrow's jobs report is a big point of interest, but stock traders will be home watching their bond market brethren trade the number on a special jobs Friday edition of Squawk Box.
The FTSE-100 is firmer after a decision by the Bank of England to leave rates unchanged and the rest of Europe's markets are mostly edging higher. Japanese stocks were lower overnight, taking a breather after recent gains. Oil is slipping as the 15 British sailors return home from their detention in Iran.
GOOD MONDAY? Our Steve Liesman, with the help of producer Sabrina Korber, showed us just what a Good Friday jobs report might mean to the stock market. In the past six Good Friday releases of data, when the stock market was closed, stocks were lower five of those Mondays. But the sixth and the most recent, shows the Dow climbing 174 points on April 2, 1999. (see chart below)
Today, we will look at where stocks are heading against the backdrop of a slower growing economy. The Dow is just 256 points away from its all time high.
EMERGING MARKETS China, in its continuing effort to curb inflation and the too rapid growth of credit, again ordered banks to put aside more money for reserves. Asian finance officials, meanwhile, meet in Thailand. On the agenda is how to control foreign capital flows to prevent "hot" money from creating and deflating bubbles. Remember, it was Thailand that caused a calamity in its stock market when it said it would restrict foreign investors.
IS HE IN THE GAME? Maverick's owner Mark Cuban made it clear to our Jim Cramer that he wasn't out of the running as a possible buyer for the Chicago Cubs. Darren Rovell will look more into that today.
SLAPPED DOWN The EU is cracking the whip on Microsoft again. According to the Financial Times, Microsoft will be forced to give its rivals sensitive information about its Windows operating system for no compensation.
ALONG WALL STREET Goldman, Sachs downgraded Micron to sell from neutral, saying weak DRAM pricing will be a negative. Merrill, meanwhile, upgraded the Asian semiconductor group to buy, including Taiwan Semi, to overweight from market weight.
Courtesy of Steve Liesman
Good Friday, Blue Monday
Dow Performance Easter Monday
April 2, 1999 (up) 174.82
April 5, 1996 (down) 88.51
April 1, 1994 (down) 42.61
April 1, 1988 (down) 7.46
April 5, 1985 (down) 6.07
April 1, 1983 (down) 2.42