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S&P 500 falls on fresh job numbers

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The S&P 500 is continuing a rough week with the big 4 US banks being heavily sold off.

It has been a tumultuous week for US stock investors.

S&P 500 stocks closed sharply lower on Thursday night, following a spike in weekly jobless claims, ahead of Friday's US Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly report.

The S&P 500 traded down 1.85%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 1.66%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was the heaviest hit, down 2.05% during Thursday's trading.

All 11 sectors were trading in the red, but it was financials hit hardest, down 3% as a sector.

Why is the market falling?

The S&P 500 is trading down on Thursday due to the number of jobless claims filed in the past week, which rose to 211K, ahead of expectations of 195K.

It was the first time this figure crossed 200K since January.

The market took it as a sign of a cooling labour market.

But this boost was short-lived as traders try to predict what will happen when tomorrow's monthly data is released.

According to CNBC, economists, including those at Citi, are expecting a positive surprise during the payroll data.

"Given that good news is bad news for markets, we think this would likely cause equities to sell-off further and support the case for an outsize Fed hike," Citi research strategist Alex Saunders said.

Powell's comments spark sell-off

Today's fall follows a rough week which started with Jerome Powell's comments which spooked the markets.

During a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Tuesday Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell came out saying the central bank will need to do more to fight inflation.

"The latest economic data have come in stronger than expected, which suggests that the ultimate level of interest rates is likely to be higher than previously anticipated," the US central bank chair said.

While pointing out that warmer weather over the holidays and other seasonal effects might be explaining the stronger-than-anticipated financial data.

But he said that the US might need further rate rises.

"If the totality of the data were to indicate that faster tightening is warranted, we would be prepared to increase the pace of rate hikes," he said.

As the share market sold off, CME Group's FedWatch calculator now has a 70% chance that rates will rise by 50 basis points, when the bank meets next.

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