Private payrolls rise more than expected, the trade deficit widens, and CrowdStrike (CRWD) shares surge after earnings topped analyst estimates. Here’s what investors need to know today.
1. Private Employers Add More Jobs Than Expected
In another sign of strength from the labor market, payroll provider ADP released its National Employment Report showing private payrolls added 242,000 jobs in February, more than the 200,000 expected after a gain of 106,000 in January. Later this morning, the Labor Department will also release its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report for January. Job openings are projected to have fallen to 10.6 million in January, down from 11 million in December. As of the latest report, there are nearly two job openings for every job seeker, highlighting the tight labor market.
2. Trade Deficit Widens as Imports Rise
The Commerce Department reported the trade deficit widened by 1.6% to $68.3 billion in January as exports and imports rose. Economists had expected the trade deficit to rise to $68.9 billion. Later today, the Federal Reserve will also release its Beige Book survey of economic conditions around the country.
3. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Raises Its Stake in Occidental Petroleum
Occidental Petroleum (OXY) shares jumped almost 3% in pre-market trading after filings show Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought another 5.8 million additional shares of Occidental earlier this week. The new purchases bring Berkshire’s stake to 22%.
4. CrowdStrike Shares Surge on Earnings
Shares of cybersecurity company CrowdStrike (CRWD) surged over 6% in pre-market trading after it posted earnings that topped analyst expectations and offered a revenue outlook well above estimates. CrowdStrike earnings for the fourth quarter rose 57% to 47 cents per share compared to estimates of 43 cents per share. Revenue jumped 48% to $637.4 million, more than the $625 million analysts anticipated.
5. The NTSB Opens Probe into Norfolk Southern's Safety Practices
The National Transportation Safety Board opened a formal probe into Norfolk Southern’s safety practices. The investigation follows five recent incidents for the rail operator.