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This Week’s Market Buzz


•    Oil prices plunged about 3 percent at press time, putting crude futures on pace for a second weak of losses, after U.S. government data showed recent job gains grinding to a halt last month. Crude futures were already under pressure after data showed a slump in Chinese imports and exports in February and the European Central Bank slashed its outlook for economic growth on the continent. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell $1.73, or 3.1 percent, to $54.92. Brent crude futures were down $2.03, or 3.1 percent, to $64.27 a barrel.

•    Baker Hughes, a GE company, announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for February 2019 was 1,027, up 3 from the 1,024 counted in January 2019, and up 48 from the 979 counted in February 2018. The international offshore rig count for February 2019 was 250, up 8 from the 242 counted in January 2019, and up 56 from the 194 counted in February 2018. The average U.S. rig count for February 2019 was 1,049, down 16 from the 1,065 counted in January 2019, and up 80 from the 969 counted in February 2018. The average Canadian rig count for February 2019 was 230, up 54 from the 176 counted in January 2019, and down 93 from the 323 counted in February 2018.

•    Eagle Materials reported that the company's CEO, Dave Powers, will retire as an officer of the company effective July 1. He will remain on the Eagle Materials board of directors.