Photo: Flickr/lululemon athletica
A crucial week of economic data ended on a high note.First the scoreboard:
Dow: 13,096, +217.2, +1.6%
S&P 500: 1,390, +25.9, +1.9%
NASDAQ: 2,967, +58.1, +2.0%
And now the top stories:
- U.S. companies added 163k jobs in July, which was far ahead of the 100k analysts were expecting. This was led by private payrolls which jumped 172k versus an expectation for 110k. Gains more than offset downward revisions to last month’s number. The unemployment rate, however, squeaked up to 8.3 per cent from 8.2 per cent last month. The long-term unemployment rate fell to a three-year low. Here Are The Most Unemployed Big Countries In The World >
- Bank of America’s Michelle Meyer noted that the good report reduced the odds that the Federal Reserve would have to embark on QE3, a bond-buying program aimed at lowering long-term interest rates for businesses and consumers.
- However, the report was not without its naysayers. PIMCO’s Mohamed El-Erian said that the 163k was still a “muddling number.” Morgan Stanley’s David Greenlaw acknowledged the better-than-expected number, but warned that we might see some “payback” next month. In other words, some of the job gains in July may have been pulled forward from August.
- The better-than-expected jobs number certainly boosted the Citigroup Economic Surprise Index, one of the best leading indicators of the stock market. Indeed, JP Morgan’s Tom Lee said that the index has “decisively turned up.” Lee thinks this means corporate earnings are heading up. “Bottom line, we would recommend investors be buyers of the dip,” he wrote. UBS Is Recommending These 25 Stocks To The Richest People In World >
- The Knight Capital computer glitch saga continues. The stock actually surged this morning at the open. According to reports, Knight has hired Sandler O’Neill and Goldman Sachs as advisers, which could potentially end in a sale of the company. Shares went even higher in the afternoon after TD Ameritrade said it would resume routing trades through the beleaguered market-maker.
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