Infrastructure Week, Jobless Claims, Oil: 3 Things to Watch

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By Liz Moyer — Tech stocks were back in play on Wednesday, shrugging off concerns about rising interest rates as the government prepares to flood the market with a fresh round of spending, this time on infrastructure.

The is close to piercing the historic 4,000 mark, and Nasdaq surged. 

Economic data supports the reopening trade and fuels investor optimism, which is showing up across the market. The economy created 515,000 private jobs last month, which was shy of the 550,000 expected but a positive sign as the government prepares to release its nonfarm jobs report on Friday.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:) announced a $22 billion contract with the U.S. Army. Pfizer Inc (NYSE:) said its vaccine with BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:) was effective in children aged 12 to 15, clearing the way for it to ask the government to allow Covid shots for that age cohort before the beginning of school in the fall. 

The U.S. stock market is closed on Friday, leaving Thursday the last day of trading in a shortened holiday week. Here are three things that could affect markets tomorrow:

1. Biden’s infrastructure plan puts the focus on energy and materials 

President Biden outlined his $2 trillion infrastructure plan, and it will likely ripple through sectors such as energy, materials and transportation. Enphase Energy Inc (NASDAQ:) rose almost 8% on Wednesday, and Applied Materials Inc (NASDAQ:) jumped nearly 6% to a new 52-week high.

The plan is to spend on modernizing 20,000 miles of roadway, fixing 10,000 bridges, and installing 500,000 electric-vehicle charging stations, among other initiatives.

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2. Jobless claims for the week

On Wednesday, said private companies added 515,000 jobs last month. On Thursday, last week’s jobless claims are expected to come in around 680,000, about the same as the week before. claims are expected to be 3.77 million. The data comes out at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT).

3. All eyes on the oil market

On Thursday, the oil cartel will release its decision on May production levels. When OPEC+ met earlier this month on April levels, the Saudis again announced a 1 million-barrel cut and Saudi Oil Minister Abdulaziz sounded genuinely concerned about demand. 

Traders are betting the Saudis will try to clamp down output again by citing Europe’s renewed wave of Covid-19 lockdowns. (France announced additional restrictions late Wednesday). Inventory fell more than expected, according to the government data released Wednesday, but oil has traded cautiously ahead of OPEC’s announcement.



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