Though futures ignored this morning's
employment report, investors decided shortly after the stock market opened that the data wasn't pretty. Who knows where stocks will go from here?
The market was mixed and volatile, with decliners matching advancers on both the
Nasdaq and the blue-chip
It initially looked as though tech stocks would follow through with yesterday's rally on wireless communications firm
earnings report last night. Though the company's top-line revenue growth was weaker than expected, the company reported
earnings that beat estimates by a penny and said it was comfy, thank you very much, with fourth-quarter estimates. Qualcomm was lately soaring 15.1% and was one of the Nasdaq's most actively traded stocks.
But it wasn't taking the tech-heavy index with it. The Nasdaq was wading right near the flatline.
The Dow was stumbling under the weight of widespread weakness, particularly in recent blue-chip winners such as
Some market watchers say U.S. stocks were being pulled down by the euro's reaction to the data. The euro was trading as high as 0.87 this morning following confirmation that the
European Central Bank
had intervened again to buy euros in the foreign exchange market, but the beleaguered currency tripped back following the U.S. data.
One of the most important indicators of the health of the economy, the employment report showed that job growth slowed in October, but that unemployment remained at its 30-year low rate of 3.9%. while average hourly earnings rose. Labor markets that are too tight and wages that are too high are bad for inflation, which, of course, is considered bad for the economy and for business.
This morning's wage inflation number is particularly important, considering signs from yesterday's
productivity report that showed the rate of worker compensation was rising faster than expected. There seems to be plenty of confusion in the market right now about where the threat of inflation stands and whether the economy is slowing too far, too fast -- or not enough.
wrote a separate
story that looked at what the jobs report says about the economy.
The good news: New nonfarm payrolls created in October totaled 137,000, well below projections of 184,000 for the month. Unemployment remained at the30-year low of 3.9% reached in September, despite expectations that it would widen to 4%. Finally, hourly earnings rose 0.4%, just above forecasts of a 0.3% rise, the average over the previous 12 months.
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Few sectors were making big moves this morning, as investors concentrated on finding value in individual stocks.
Transport -- particularly airline -- stocks were having a bumpy ride, however. The
American Stock Exchange Airline Index
was falling 2.1%, while the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
was off 1.6%.
United Parcel Service
was down 1.7% after it said it would acquire at least 13 pre-owned MD-11 planes from U.S. aircraft manufacturer
Meanwhile, biotech stocks, which some market watchers say have formed the most recent speculative market bubble, continued to climb. The
Nasdaq Biotechnology Index
, was up 0.95%.
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Bonds slipped this morning following mixed signals from the employment data showing that average hourly earnings were rising faster than expected.
Following this morning's hotter-than-expected wage growth number, the benchmark 10-year
Treasury note was face down in a puddle, with prices off 12/32 to 99 21/32, pushing the yield to 5.795%.
Treasury bond was 16/32 lower, to 105 31/32, and yielding 5.825%.
) for October presented a mixed picture. Nonfarm payrolls grew 137,000, below expectation of a rise of 184,000 and down from September's 195,000. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.9%. Average hourly earnings however, rose 0.4% ahead of expectation of a 0.3% rise and well above the September increase of 0.2%.
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