5 issues to know earlier than the inventory market opens on Thursday March 18th
Here are the top news, trends, and analysis investors need to get their trading day started:
1. Nasdaq, S&P 500 futures hit by further surge in government bond yields
A man walks in front of the Nasdaq building in Times Square on March 10, 2021 in New York.
John Smith | Corbis News | Getty Images
A woman walks outside a store in New York City on February 22, 2021.
John Smith | Corbis News | Getty Images
As the Fed raised its outlook for economic growth and inflation, it lowered its forecast for the unemployment rate this year to 4.5%. The unemployment rate in February was 6.2%. In a further reference to the job picture, which is due to be published at 8:30 a.m.CET, economists expect 700,000 new applications for unemployment benefits last week. That would be less than the previous week’s 712,000 initial unemployment claims.
2. Bond traders continue to battle the Fed over rates
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a virtual press conference in Tiskilwa, Illinois on December 16, 2020.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Despite assurances from the Fed that near zero rates are unlikely to rise until 2023, the yield on 10-year government bonds hit 1.74% on Thursday, a high through January 2020 as traders continued to battle central bankers over rates . The rapid rise in the benchmark yield, which started below 1% this year, has weighed on high-growth stocks, many of which are technology stocks on the Nasdaq, as higher interest rates undermine the value of future earnings and depress market valuations. In addition to releasing projections on Wednesday afternoon after its two-day March meeting, the Fed left interest rates and the asset purchase program unchanged.
3. Top Biden officials and Chinese diplomats meet
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint press conference following the meeting of Foreign and Defense Ministers between South Korea and the United States at the State Department in Seoul, South Korea, on March 18, 2021.
Lee Jin-Man | Reuters
America’s top diplomat urged China early Thursday to use “enormous influence” to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear program hours after secluded Pyongyang vowed to ignore any US overtures to resume negotiations. State Secretary Antony Blinken spoke in Seoul at the end of the security talks with South Korea.
Blinken will meet senior Chinese officials on his way back to Washington Thursday in Anchorage, Alaska. Relations between the world’s two largest economies have been torn for years, and the Biden administration has yet to signal whether it is ready or ready to back off the tough stance of former President Donald Trump.
4th house to vote on two immigration laws, including one for “dreamers”
Protesters hold illuminated signs during a rally supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or the Dream Act outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on January 18, 2018.
Zach Gibson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The House was due to vote on Thursday on a bill that would give so-called dreamers, immigrants brought to the United States as children, full legal status and a chance for citizenship. A second measure would do the same for agricultural workers with a migrant background. Both measures certainly seemed to pass. When similar versions of the bills were passed in 2019, seven Republicans voted in favor of the Dreamers bill and 34 backed the farm workers’ move. However, support for the GOP is expected to wane this time around as the party rallies behind calls for tighter restrictions on the US-Mexico border.
5. The federal tax return day on April 15th was postponed to May 17th
The headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, DC
Samuel Corum / Bloomberg via Getty Images
The tax return date on April 15th has been postponed by one month. Taxpayers can also delay paying funds owed to the IRS until May 17th. However, the extended period only applies to federal income declarations and taxes. This means taxpayers will need to check to see if state tax due dates have changed. Not all federal states follow the same registration plan as the federal government. The call for a tax day delay has been heightened following the adoption of the latest Covid Relief Plan, which mandates the IRS to submit another round of direct payments at the same time it normally processes tax returns and refunds.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report. Get the latest information on the pandemic on CNBC’s coronavirus blog.