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Wall St week ahead: US jobs, Russia to rule stocks

Published on Mar 31, 2014 6:16 AM
 
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 28, 2014 in New York City. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - United States (US) stock investors will take their cues this week from March jobs data and diplomacy to defuse East-West tensions over Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.

Friday's monthly jobs report, the most widely watched US economic indicator, is expected to show that employers added 200,000 jobs in March to non-farm payrolls, according to a Reuters poll of economists. If the March jobs figure is strong, that could convince stock investors that the US economy's recent setbacks related to the weather were only temporary.

The rebound in hiring started last month despite the icy weather. Employers added 175,000 jobs to non-farm payrolls in February after creating 129,000 new positions in January.

"We potentially could have a big positive surprise. The polar vortex is over, and I believe we could get a snapback in payroll numbers that is significantly better than expected," said Mr Doug Cote, chief market strategist at ING US Investment Management in New York.

 
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