Market participants spent much of the trading session trying to decide if the jobs report was good for stocks or not. Actually, there was a little something for everyone. Jobs growth was robust with 242,000 new jobs having been created in February. The unemployment rate remained the same coming in at 4.9%, but average hourly earnings actually fell for the first time in quite a while. Fed watchers could point to weak growth in wages as a reason to put on hold any new rate increases until at least later in the year, but of course, one could say that job creation is strong therefore a possible move in March, or at least June, is justifiable. Thus, the confusion, and the inconsistent narrative.
By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 62 points to finish the day at 17,006. The S&P 500 was up 6 points to close at 1,999. Gold was up $5.10 to trade at $1,263 per ounce, while oil was up $1.63 to trade at $36.20 per barrel WTI.
Once again, politics is dominating the news cycle, and after yesterday’s developments and last night’s debate, it is easy to see why. I wouldn’t know where to begin, even if I wanted to comment on the political landscape right now. Perhaps I’ll start writing a daily political commentary for those who are interested (just kidding). As for stocks, after the awful beginning to the year, the bulls have been mustering a decent response and have been able to actually get some traction over the past few weeks. Let’s see if the bulls can make 1950 on the S&P a new support level on which to build as we move deeper into March.
Have a great weekend everyone.