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[video] Quick Take: Labor Participation Rate Rises, Retail Is Weak

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The January nonfarm payrolls report came in weaker than expected, yet U.S. equities are higher. The federal government reported 113,000 jobs were added in January, missing economists' expectations of 189,000. The unemployment rate fell to 6.6% from 6.7% one month ago. 

Pension Partners' Chief Investment Strategist Michael Gayed told TheStreet's Joe Deaux it's good to see the participation rate rise to 63%, meaning more people are entering the work force. 

He called the participation rate a "thorn" in the Federal Reserve's side because it has been trending lower for quite some time. No one anticipated people leaving the work force, he added. 

His biggest concern is the continued weakness in the retail sector. If consumer demand is truly disappearing, investors will have to question if last year's 30% rally in the S&P 500 should correct to a more realistic level in order to reflect current economic conditions.

The jobs report, which was neither great or terrible, can be interpreted in different ways. Gayed says some will see it as bullish because the Fed will continue with quantitative easing. Others will interpret the report as bearish because the Fed's stimulus program hasn't caused the type of job demand everyone has expected, and it hasn't increased inflation levels to the Fed's targets, he concluded. 

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.

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