If you know anyone looking for a job, let them know that the JOLTS (job openings and labor turnover survey) number released today indicated the highest reading since they began measuring job openings back in 2000. That’s right, year over year openings are up 22% to 5.37 million available jobs. The number was much higher than expected, and should give the hawks on the FOMC something different to chew on. The bond market reacted as expected with prices slumping as yields rose.
As for stocks, the action was slightly choppy but for the most part quiet. By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2 points to close at 17,764. The S&P 500 was up just a fraction to close at 2080. Gold was up $2 to trade at $1176 per ounce, while oil was up $1.81 to trade at $59.95 per barrel WTI.
No, the JOLTS number is not typically a real market mover, but with the next FOMC meeting set for next week, market participants are searching for anything they can in the tea leaves. Cumulatively, are there enough data points facing in the same direction to provide the Fed the spark they need to move rates off of zero? As we’ve said, it really doesn’t matter if the Fed moves now, later in the year or even next year, but the game these days is guessing when the first move will come. In the meantime, the market continues to have a case of the jitters.
Have a nice evening everyone.