JOBLESS RATE DROPS AND STOCKS GO NOWHERE: Here's What You Need To Know

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An extraordinary drop in the unemployment rate had many cheering.  But some cried foul.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 13,610, +34.7, +0.2 per cent
S&P 500: 1,460, -0.4, -0.0 per cent
NASDAQ: 3,136, -13.2, -0.4 per cent

And now the top stories:

  • The Bureau of labour Statistics released one of the most polictically important jobs reports in a long time today.  And it was controversial.
  • According to the BLS, U.S. companies added 114k nonfarm payrolls in September, which was essentially right in line with economists’ estimates.  However, private payrolls grew by just 104k, which was significantly below the expectations for +130k.
  • The unemployment rate stunned everyone by dropping to 7.8 per cent from 8.1 per cent in August.  At the same time, the labour force participation rate climbed to 63.6 per cent from 63.5 per cent a month ago.  Minutes after this number was published, former GE CEO Jack Welch smelled conspiracy and tweeted, “Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers.”  Welch wasn’t alone.  Economist David Rosenberg thought the number was probably “too good to be true.”
  • Overall, experts agreed that the move was statistically unusual but not a conspiracy.  From Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius: “The most eye-catching part of this report is the 0.3-point drop in the unemployment rate, to 7.8%. For the most part, this looks like a genuine move, as it comes alongside large increases in both the labour force (+418,000) and the tally of jobs in the survey of households (+873,000) of which 187,000 was due to government.”
  • It’s worth mentioning that Hatzius’ colleague David Kostin unveiled Goldman’s 2013 target for the S&P 500 this morning.  Kostin sees the S&P surging to 1,575 by the end of 2013, only after plunging to 1,250 by the end of this year.
  • Late in the trading session, the Federal Reserve published its August consumer credit data, and it was a monster.  New consumer credit surged $18.12 billion, which was way ahead of economists estimate for $7.25 billion.  This suggests that increasingly confident consumers are going shopping again in a big way.
  • Don’t Miss: PRESENTING: An Epic New Presentation From Abby Joseph Cohen On The State Of The Global Economy >
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