Skewed by the
strike though it may have been, Wall Street is pretty pleased by the August jobs report.
"Bonds are up. We'll take it," says one trader. "There's been a little sigh of relief. It's kind of been a waiting game for the last couple of days.
came in at 49,000 for August, well below
consensus estimates for them to hit 65,000; the
ticked up to 4.9%, above estimates for it to remain at 4.8%; and hourly wages came in at $12.29, up a nickel and in line with estimates.
Stocks are set to head higher on those numbers.
"The market was waiting for this number," says another trader. "It looks like we're going to have a nice day. There's a good, positive tone to the market. We're probably going to pass 8000 today, if I had to make a bet."
As of 9:00 a.m. (EDT), the
futures are up 5.00, putting them well above fair value and indicating a positive open. The 30-year Treasury bond is up 20/32 at 97 17/32, dropping the yield to 6.57%.
cut its ratings on
Procter & Gamble
to maintain from outperform and cut
on concern that those companies' Southeast Asian profits will be hurt badly by the region's currency crisis. Thursday
The Street.com looked at the crisis' effect on U.S. companies, and suggested that Procter & Gamble would be among the next to get downgraded.
plans to merge its southern South American natural gas and oil business with that of closely held
, according to
The Wall Street Journal
reports that its research suggests that the
won't raise rates anytime soon. Let's hope that its economic policy crystal ball is better than its merger and acquisition crystal ball.
Japanese stocks were mixed. The
edged higher, closing up 35.11 at 18,650.17, but decliners slightly beat out advancers. Many investors are treading water ahead of Sept. 30, the half year mark in the Japanese fiscal year.
Hong Kong stocks moved higher, helped by the recovery of many Southeast Asian currencies and markets. (The Malaysian and Indonesian stock markets, both gaining over 10%, were the big winners.) The
climbed 364.38 to close at 14,563.55.
German stocks posted gains in quiet trading. The
closed up 28.99 at 4100.67.
British stocks which were stalled ahead of the U.S. jobs report, are responding nicely. The
is up 23.10 at 5014.40. As in the U.S., the London market has seen some broadening lately -- second tier stocks continue to keep the pace today.
This story originally published Sept. 5, 1997.