“Oh my God,” exclaimed Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi’s Chris Rupkey after the jobs report. “The economy is literally blasting off.” The Dow and S&P closed at record highs.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,958.7, +58.6, (+0.3%)
- S&P 500: 2,075.3, +3.4, (+0.1%)
- Nasdaq: 4,780.7, +11.3, (+0.2%)
And now, the top stories:
1. US companies added 321,000 nonfarm payrolls in November, which was much stronger than the 230,000 expected by economists. October’s number was revised up to 243,000 from an earlier estimate of 214,000. November’s report was the 50th straight month of job gains for the US economy, the longest streak on record. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8% and the labour force participation rate held steady at 62.8%.
2. “Blowout,” “startling,” and “whopping” were just a few of the ways Wall Street reacted to the report. Stocks rallied, the dollar surged, and gold and bonds tumbled. The Dow set an intraday high of 17,991.19. The S&P 500 set an intraday high of 2,079.47.
3. Millenials have been big winners in 2014. “In the last year, the unemployment rate for workers between the ages of 25 and 34 has fallen sharply, from 7.4% to 6.1%,” BI’s Myles Udland noted. “The number of unemployed people in this age group has fallen from 2.51 million one year ago to 2.08 million in November 2014”
4. The US trade deficit narrowed slightly to $US43.4 billion in October; economists had forecast $US41.2 billion. “Oil exports fell by $US1.4B in response to the drop in prices but imports were little changed, so we expect a hefty improvement in the oil numbers for November and December,” Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Sheperdson said. “Overall, though, the trade numbers seem to be on course to be a serious drag on fourth quarter growth, subtracting as much as 1 percentage point from the GDP number.”
5. Factory orders unexpectedly fell 0.7%, which was well below expectations for 0.0%.
6. Consumer credit balances increased by just $US13.22 billion in October, which was lighter than the $US16.5 billion expected. Non-revolving credit, which includes auto loans and student loans, increased by $US12.3 billion. Revolving credit, which includes credit card debt, climbed by $US922 million.
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