Job growth slows; Trump trade threats; Markets suffer
(CNN Money) — 1. Weaker jobs report: US job growth slowed in March, according to new data.
The economy added 103,000 jobs, fewer than the 185,000 expected by economists. Unemployment remained at 4.1%, the lowest since 2000.
Wages grew 2.7% from a year ago, in line with expectations.
The economy still added jobs in March, marking the 90th consecutive month of job gains. That streak is a record, according to government figures going back to the 1930s.
2. Trump trade threats: President Donald Trump ratcheted up the trade war rhetoric with China again on Thursday evening.
“In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the [United States Trade Representative] to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate,” the president said in a statement.
The Chinese government responded by reiterating that it doesn’t want “to fight a trade war, but we are not afraid of fighting it.”
Earlier this week, the United States announced new tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. Beijing responded within hours by announcing $50 billion worth of tariffs on US goods.
The latest threats unnerved investors. US stock futures were pointing lower and the VIX volatility index spiked 7%.
Analysts hope the rhetoric will not translate into a full-on trade war.
Markets in mainland China were closed.
4. Thursday market recap: The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 1% on Thursday. It was the index’s third gain in a row, extending a big comeback on Wednesday.
5. Economics: US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell is expected to give a speech on the US economic outlook at 10:30 a.m. ET.
US consumer credit statistics will be released 2:00 p.m. ET.
Canada’s jobs report is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET.
German industrial production slumped unexpectedly in February, according to data from the country’s economy ministry. Economists have suggested the drop could be a blip caused by cold weather.
6. Coming this week:
Friday — Jobs report