5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday, April 5

Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:

1. Thursday’s tumble

All three major averages sank Thursday as a spike in oil prices and fears the Federal Reserve might wait to cut interest rates dented investor sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.35%, its worst session since March 2023. The S&P 500 dipped 1.23%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 1.40%. The drop in markets coincided with a jump in the price of crude oil. WTI oil topped $86 a barrel, its highest level since October. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari also said Thursday that he wondered if the central bank should cut rates at all if inflation remained sticky, joining recent Fed speakers talking conservatively about policy. Follow live market updates.

2. Jobs anyone?

More than 75 employers were taking resumes and talking to prospective new hires at a career fair in Lake Forest, California, on Feb. 21, 2024.

Paul Bersebach | Medianews Group | Orange County Register | Getty Images

The Labor Department releases its March jobs report Friday at 8:30 a.m ET. Job growth is expected to be 200,000 for the month, according to the Dow Jones consensus forecast. That would mark a slowdown from February’s initially reported addition of 275,000 jobs, but would still be a strong pace historically. Initially strong numbers have recently been lowered in subsequent estimates, leading many to ask whether the jobs situation is as positive as it looks.

3. Yellen in China

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (L) shakes hands with China’s Vice Premier He Lifeng in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, on April 5, 2024.

Pedro Pardo | Afp | Getty Images

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen started her first full day of meetings in China by encouraging the country to pursue market-oriented reforms and discussing overcapacity concerns. Yellen also said in prepared remarks for her meeting with Vice Premier He Lifeng that it was important for China to share national security-related economic actions and collaborate on climate change. Yellen is in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou and will travel to Beijing on Saturday before returning to the U.S. on Tuesday. She is also scheduled to meet with Premier Li Qiang, Finance Minister Lan Fo’an and Beijing mayor Yin Yong.

4. Pushing back

The Ford company logo is displayed on a sign outside of the Chicago Assembly Plant in Chicago, Feb. 3, 2021.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

Ford said Thursday it will delay production of a new all-electric large SUV and pickup truck. Production of the three-row SUV will be pushed back to 2027 from an initial plan of 2025. The pickup, codenamed “T3”, is also being delayed from late 2025 to 2026. The company aims to offer hybrid options across its North American lineup by 2030. The shift comes as EV adoption has been slower than expected and production costs remain high.

5. Paying late

A shopper carries several bags in the Magnificent Mile shopping district of Chicago on Dec. 2, 2023.

Taylor Glascock | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Retailers like Peloton, Saks, Express and Bath & Body Works are paying vendors late, according to data from business intelligence firm Creditsafe. Some healthy companies leave bills unpaid for weeks or months, but it can be an early sign that a company is in financial distress. “It’s either they have liquidity issues, or they don’t care,” said Perry Mandarino, the head of restructuring at B. Riley Securities. Creditsafe’s information does not show a company’s total trading profile and is based on its payment history with suppliers.

CNBC’s Pia Singh, Hakyung Kim, Jeff Cox, Evelyn Cheng, Michael Wayland and Gabrielle Fonrouge contributed to this report.

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