Just when investors were beginning to feel a little frisky, the government released a miserable non-farm payroll number this morning. Analysts had been falling all over themselves raising their “guess” for the number of jobs created in December. The consensus settled in around 200,000 new jobs but many analysts had increased their prediction to more than 250,000 by Thursday afternoon. Well, the number came in at a depressing 74,000 new jobs created. Oops. I’m going to consult my 6 year old granddaughter to get her guess next month. Perhaps her economic “modeling” will produce a more accurate prediction.
Anyway, stocks spent most of the day in negative territory with an actual refreshing “bad news is bad news” kind of response, but recovered by the close. Still, if we can get stocks moving up on good news and down on bad, I will take my chances. I think we’ll see more positive than negative economic news as the year progresses. The only fly in the ointment would be stocks falling on both good news and bad. That would indicate shares are fully priced and incremental new buyers are scarce.
For the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 7 points to finish the day at 16,436. The S&P 500 was up 4 points to close at 1842. Gold was up $16 to trade at $1246 per ounce, while oil was up $1.01 to trade at $92.17per barrel WTI.
It was a busy week on the economic front and the next few weeks will be busy on the earnings front. This will be a very interesting earnings season. We’ll keep you informed as it unfolds.
Have a great weekend everyone.