What a week! I know no one cares about economic data at this point (and it is somewhat looking in the rearview mirror), but today’s jobs number was fantastic. 273,000 new jobs were created in February, which is much more than expected. The unemployment rate ticked back down to 3.5%. Now, of course these numbers are looking back, and somewhat before the Covid-19 fear, but at least it’s good to know that before a wave of fear crippled the markets, we were actually doing pretty well on the economic front. Of course, market participants aren’t seeing anything positive at this point, and that’s understandable. Though, the market averages tumbled throughout the day, similar to last Friday, a few brave souls stepped in to do some buying near the end of the trading session.
By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 256 points to finish the day at 25,864. The S&P 500 was down 51 points to close at 2,972. Gold was up $4 to trade at $1,672 per ounce, while oil was absolutely crushed dropping $4.61 to trade at $41.29 per barrel WTI.
What is surprising is that the S&P was actually up slightly for the week. Boy, it sure didn’t feel like it, did it? This is a moment in time when fear is taking over, some warranted, some not. The best thing to do is to keep calm and remember that this is why we allocate a portion of our accounts to safety. Just for times like this. Let’s catch our breath and get back at it next week. As one of my favorite musicians, Jimmy Buffett would say – this market is giving us “a lot to drink about” this weekend.
Have a great weekend everyone and wash those hands.