1. Two major events: Investors have two significant geopolitical moves to consider on Friday. Both involve President Donald Trump.
Trump has followed through on his promise to impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports. Canada and Mexico are exempt from the new tariffs, and other countries may also be granted a reprieve.
Top US trading partners including South Korea, China and the European Union have blasted the move.
Investors will be watching for what comes next. Retaliatory moves could spark a trade war that would slow trade and damage the global economy.
The White House also announced on Thursday that Trump had agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, setting the scene for an unprecedented encounter between the two nations.
2. February jobs report: The US Labor Department will publish its February jobs report at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Economists estimate that 200,000 jobs were added during the month, a performance that would match gains made in January. The unemployment rate is expected to inch down to 4%, a new 17-year low.
Investors will also be watching for new data on wage growth.
Stocks reacted violently last month after the jobs report showed the fastest US wage growth since 2009. The news stoked concerns about rising inflation and interest rates, causing the Dow to drop 666 points.
3. Earnings: It’s a quiet day for corporate earnings.
Big Lots( and )Party City( are reporting quarterly results before the open. )
4. Coming this week:
Friday — US monthly jobs report