We had a goldilocks type of employment report this morning. 136,000 new jobs were created, which was a little shy of expectations, but we got upward revisions to the last two monthly reports. In addition, the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, and average hourly wages were flat. Now, wages being flat isn’t exactly good for workers, but wages remaining muted is good for those who have been concerned that inflation was just around the corner. Stocks rallied on the report and added to gains as the trading session wore on.
By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 371 points to finish the day at 26,572. The S&P 500 was up 41 points to close at 2,951. Gold was down $3 to trade at $1,510 per ounce, while oil was up $.31 to trade at $52.76 per barrel WTI.
After the 4th quarter that we had last year, it’s understandable that there is some nervousness as we enter this year’s 4th quarter. Economic data has been soft and the political environment is as charged as we may have ever seen it. Not an easy environment for stocks, but let’s see how earnings season unfolds. Stocks prices aren’t cheap, but earnings expectations appear to be muted, at best. Something should give over the next few weeks. To maintain or improve on these prices, earnings will likely have to be better than expected. Stay tuned.
Have a great weekend everyone.