Fortunately, Wall Street is resourceful, and buyers seem eager to 'pay' for the first 'hiccup' of 2024, and even for the 1st decline of more than -1.5% in a few hours since the end of October.
US indices are proving resilient, with initial gains (+0.3%) practically trebled, with the S&P500 at +0.7% and the Nasdaq at +0.9% (vs. -1.45% the previous day).
The motto "buy all the dips" still seems to be in effect in New York, while Europe remains a little more timid, with the Euro-Stoxx50 dropping -1.3% to -1.4%, but fighting to preserve the 5,000 mark.

On the other hand, the CAC40 has no problem preserving the 8,000 mark.000: the index has reduced its losses a little, from -1.6% this morning (to 8,020) to -1.2% at 8,055, i.e. -1.8% for the week.
But with 35 minutes to go, 35 CAC40 stocks are still in the red, in "insignificant" volumes (1.75 billion euros).
Eurofins dropped -4.7%, Bouygues and Véolia -3%, LVMH -2.8% (breaking through the 800E support level).

The publication of the US NFP at 2.30 p.m. was eagerly awaited... and as is often the case when a figure is presented as the 'market mover of the week', we witnessed a 'non-event'.
Another demonstration of the lack of reaction in both equities and fixed-income markets.
The US economy created more jobs than expected in March, according to the monthly report from the Labor Department published on Friday.
Wall Street, which was expected to rise by 0.2%, posted a 0.3% increase, with scores for once very homogeneous, from the Dow Jones to the Nasdaq (identical scores the day after declines ranging from -1.3% to -1.5%, the biggest drop of the year).

The monthly 'NFP' report counted 303,000 non-farm jobs created last month in the US, compared with 270,000 (revised from 275,000) in February, while the Reuters consensus forecast only 200,000.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in March, compared with 3.9% the previous month (Reuters consensus unchanged at 3.9%).

The rise in average hourly earnings - a closely watched component - accelerated to +0.3% in March, after +0.2% in February (consensus +0.3%), but its increase slowed slightly to 4.1% from +4.3% (annualized) the previous month, coinciding with the consensus of 4.1%.

'Labor market signals are not weak enough to offset upward surprises on inflation. Hence the Fed's status quo', explain analysts at Oddo BHF.

Proof of the markets' great sensitivity to this theme, Wall Street was the victim of a rare reversal of fortunes last night following statements by Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari.

He warned that 'if inflation continues to follow a pattern of declines and occasional spikes, the question will arise whether we should not abandon any rate cuts this year'.

While some strategists see this as no more than a slight blip in an underlying trend that remains bullish, others see it as a prelude to a correction that is now inevitable... and the stress was ratcheted up a notch on Thursday evening, with the 'VIX' jumping +14% in 2.5 hours, from 13.7 to 16.50.

The stock markets' solid start to the year increases the risk of renewed volatility in the short term", warns Larry Adam, Chief Investment Officer at Raymond James.

"Stock markets usually experience three to four correction sequences of at least 5% a year, and the last one so far dates back to September 2023", he recalls.

There were also figures on the agenda this morning in Europe: production rebounded in France over one month in manufacturing (+0.9% after -1.5% in January) and in total industry (+0.2% after -0.9%), according to seasonally and working-day adjusted data from Insee.

Bond markets remain "heavy", with OATs and Bunds up +4.8 and +5pts to 2.912% and 2.4060% respectively, while Italian BTPs are up +7pts to 3.78500%.
T-Bonds re-tested the crucial resistance of 4.400% before balancing out at 4.3800% (+7Pts)... but the scenario of a return to 4.500% is becoming increasingly plausible.
The Dollar is stabilizing at 1.0830/E, after falling -0.6% since Monday.

Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and the drop in Russian refining capacity continue to keep pressure on oil: Brent crude (+0.2%) is hovering around $91.3 a barrel, and WTI around $86.8, i.e. in contact with the annual records tested the previous day.
The "geopolitical fact" continues to push gold up (+1%) above $2,320 (new high at $2,323, i.e. +4% weekly), while silver is marking time below $27 (-1% but +7.8% over the week).

In company news, in response to press rumors, Clariane confirms that it has held an information meeting with CSEC members on the possible sale of its home hospitalization and home nursing services (HAD/SSIAD) business in France.

For its 2023-24 financial year (ending February), LDC posted sales of almost 6.2 billion euros, up 6% (+3% on a like-for-like basis and at constant exchange rates), for virtually stable sales volumes (+0.3% on a reported basis and -0.2% on an organic basis).

Rallye, Casino's former parent company, announced on Friday an annual loss of nearly 8.5 billion euros, due in particular to the depreciation in value of the retailer's shares.

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