At first glance, the jobs report was somewhat dismal, but as the onion was peeled back it looked a little better. The non-farm payroll number was an increase of 113,000 new jobs in January which was much lower than the consensus estimate of 181,000 new jobs. But the unemployment rate did drop to 6.6% vs. the 6.7% guestimate by analysts, and that is even with an increase in labor participation as opposed to just people leaving the work force as in previous months.
At first, the traders didn’t know what to do with the information as stock futures swung wildly from negative to positive territory and back again. However, once trading got underway, the bulls seemed to get control of the situation and the bears were somewhat trampled.
By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 165 points to finish the day at 15,794. The S&P 500 was up 23 points to finish the day at 1797. Gold was up $2.16 to trade at $1266 per ounce, while oil was up $9 to trade at $100 per barrel WTI.
Even after the disastrous early part of the week, stocks finished the week in positive territory. Despite the negativity that ensued early in the week, the bulls were able to hang on for dear life and stage a nice rally. Let’s see if they can follow through next week.
Have a nice weekend everyone.