We got the October jobs report today. It wasn’t spectacular. It wasn’t awful. It was good.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,573.8, +19.3, (+0.1%)
- S&P 500: 2,031.8, +0.6, (+0.0%)
- Nasdaq: 4,632.5, -5.9, (-0.1%)
And now, the top stories on Tuesday:
1. US companies added 214,000 nonfarm payrolls in October. That was a little lower than the 235,000 expected by economists. However, the net revision in the previous two reports was +31,000. So you could actually argue that payrolls beat expectations.
2. Pantheon Macroeconomics Ian Shepherdson believes that the jobs report might’ve actually been much stronger than what the BLS said. “The payroll shortfall in October is all about the seasonals and birth/death model, both of which were much tougher than in Oct. last year, for no apparent reason,” Shepherdson wrote. “The seasonal subtracted 137K more from private jobs than a year ago, and the birth/death hit was 22K. Had they been unchanged, the Oct number would have been 373K.We can’t make any sense of the seasonal/birth-death swing, and it will reverse in due course. In the meantime, the numbers as published are OK, with no standout weaknesses.”
3. It’s pretty clear that the pace of jobs growth is very healthy. For many economists, the number to watch in the jobs report was the wage growth number. Average hourly earnings climbed by just 2.0% year-over-year in October. This suggests there’s still some slack in the labour market and little inflationary pressure. And that means the Federal Reserve is unlikely to feel pressure to rush rate hikes. “Continued progress in labour markets will likely keep the Fed on a path to normalization, but it will likely remain patient during the transition, given modest wage and inflation pressures,” Barclays’ Michael Gapen said. “We maintain our view that it will raise rates in June of next year, with risks tilted toward September given the sharp decline in commodity prices.”
4. The S&P 500 set an intraday all-time high of 2,034.26. The Dow set a high of 17,575.33.
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