Dow: 13,610 (+0.26%) S&P 500: 1,461 (+0.03%)
The highly-hyped official government employment report on the 1st Friday of every month is always a major market mover, but today, political junkies were on board for the fun times. Despite a new jolt of political electricity pumping through the media, the announcement that the unemployment rate fell below 8% for the first time since ’09, barely moved markets. After modest gains following the positive jobs report, stocks fell back this afternoon on shady events overseas like the Greek PM comparing his country’s vulnerability to post WWI Germany and a flash stock market crash in the sub-continent of India. The Dow finished with a slim gain of 35 points.
Economy adds 114,000 non-farm jobs in September
Today was the “jobs report of all jobs reports.” Due to the importance of the economy in the election, Dems and Reps were prepping their reactions to the report to promote their respective campaigns (limited to a 140 character tweet limit, of course). Up 1st was a survey of employers that revealed 114K new jobs were created in the US in September. Not an amazing number (the average monthly gain in ’12 is 143,000), but the key was the revisions. Oh the revisions. July and August’s totals were boosted by an additional 86,000 jobs.
Unemployment Rate shockingly drops to below 8% for first time since January 2009
The more significant figure to the public was today’s unemployment rate. For the 1st time in 44 months the unemployment rate is less than 8%, at a psychological encouraging 7.8%. Unlike some other drops in the unemployment rate this year, today’s decrease wasn’t the result of unemployed people giving up & leaving the workforce. Instead today’s drop was caused by job growth and increases in people taking on part-time jobs. A broader measure of “underemployment,” that includes part-time workers trying to go full-time, remained flat at 14.7%. Twitt0-sphere was on fire in the morning, but stocks only showed modest gains as analysts are somewhat skeptical of the inconsistent unemployment rate and September’s 114,000 jobs was actually just below analyst estimates.
Erroneous trades temporarily drop India’s main stock index
Somewhere in Delhi, some outsourced intern is not having a good day. Botched stock orders on India’s National Stock Exchange (its biggest) accidentally dropped prices of stocks on its main index. The error resulted in the temporary loss of $70 billion in value (measured by market capitalization) of the nation’s top 50 stocks. This wasn’t an electronic glitch (a la Knight Capital’s recent software glitch or Nasdaq’s screw-up of Facebook’s IPO) – authorities have identified a specific desk at brokerage firm EMkay Global where someone input 59 erroneous trades worth $126 million on behalf of a client. Regulators stopped trading for 15 minutes and most of the share prices recovered by the end of the day. Namaste.
- The 3rd quarter earnings season kicks off with Alcoa (feels like only yesterday we were enjoying the 2nd quarter earnings reports. Time flies when you’re reporting earnings)
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