Anticipation builds for a hiring boom
WASHINGTON — With hopes rising for a powerful rebound in hiring this year, Friday’s jobs report for March will provide crucial insight into whether those rosy expectations may prove true. The most optimistic economists are predicting that the government will report that as many as 1 million jobs were added in March — a blistering gain that would help recover a decent chunk of the 9.5 million jobs that remain lost to the pandemic. Still, overall, economists surveyed by data provider FactSet have forecast an increase of 615,000. After a year of epic job losses, waves of coronavirus infections, and small business closures, numerous trends are brightening the outlook.
Justices uphold FCC’s easing of local media ownership limits
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has unanimously upheld federal regulators’ decision to ease ownership limits on local media, rejecting a claim that the change would hurt minority and female ownership. The court ruled Thursday that the Federal Communications Commission acted reasonably in 2017 when it modified rules that predated the internet. The old rules prohibited a single entity from owning a radio or TV station and a daily newspaper in the same media market. They also limited how many radio and TV stations one company could own in a single market and restricted the number of TV stations a company could operate in one media market.
Wall Street closes higher
NEW YORK — Stocks are closing broadly higher on Wall Street, pushing the S&P 500 past 4,000 points for the first time. Big Tech companies like Microsoft led the gains. The benchmark index climbed 1.2%. Smaller companies continued to outpace the S&P 500. The tech-heavy Nasdaq added 1.8%. Companies that would benefit from greater sales of electric vehicles rose after President Joe Biden outlined various measures to support their use as part of his massive infrastructure plan. Stock trading will be closed for Good Friday but bond trading will be open for half a day, closing at noon Eastern Time.