U.S. equity futures ended lower Friday after see-sawing in the 45 minutes following March payrolls data that missed expectations to record the lowest gain since December 2013 and as both February and January data were revised lower.

The weak jobs report would support the case for the Federal Reserve to hold off on raising interest rates.

Equity futures trading was only open till 9:15 a.m. E.T. in the shortened Good Friday session.

In the U.S., stock markets were closed for the Good Friday holiday. The main market reaction to the jobs data is therefore not expected till Monday. In Europe, markets were closed Friday through Monday for the Easter holiday.

March nonfarm payroll employment rose by just 126,000 compared to the 247,000 expected and was also way off the consensus range between 200,000 and 271,000, according to data collected by Econoday. February was revised down to 264,000 from initially reported 295,000 while January was revised to 201,000 from initially reported 239,000.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5%, in line with the consensus.

“The slew of disappointing news about consumption and investment in recent months might be catching up with employment,” The Conference Board said in a statement. “It is too early to conclude that job growth is slowing down, but it is a possibility. The trend in the unemployment rate is clearly downward, but the potential slowdown in job growth, coupled with more discouraged workers returning to the labor force down the road, may moderate the drop in the unemployment rate in the coming year.”

Asian shares closed higher before the data, while on April 2, Germany’s DAX closed slightly in the red while the U.K’s FTSE 100 closed higher.


-Dow Jones Industrial down 0.6%

-S&P 500 futures down 1.0%

-Nasdaq 100 futures down 1.0%


Nikkei up 0.63%

Hang Seng up 0.77%

Shanghai Composite up 1.11%

FTSE-100 April 2 close up 0.35%

DAX-30 April 2 close down 0.28%