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October 05, 2007

Cowbell: Jobs Report Unexpectedly Strong, Stocks Surge

Another 110,000 jobs, which isn't gangbusters, but is still pretty good considering we've had, what, five or six years of consistent job growth.

Stocks jumped sharply and bond prices tumbled Friday after the government reported strong September job growth and revised August's weak data upward, cooling fears of a recession. The Dow Jones industrials at times rose more than 100 points and the Standard & Poor's 500 index broke into record territory.

The Labor Department's report that employers added 110,000 jobs in September -- essentially what analysts had expected -- reassured Wall Street that the job market wasn't pulling back sharply as was feared a month ago.

...

Much of Wall Street's collective exhale Friday owed to a revision in August payrolls, which were updated to show a gain of 89,000 jobs compared with an earlier estimate of loss of 4,000 jobs. The release of the August figure -- when economists had predicted a rise -- sent the Dow down nearly 250 points in a single session and, market watchers say, played a role in the Fed's decision to cut its key interest rate by a larger-than-expected half-percentage point last month.

"We're not seeing a weakening of the labor market. There's no indication that the wheels are falling off," said T.J. Marta, economic strategist at RBC Capital Markets. He contends that while the employment figures make it less likely the Fed will cut rates this month, many on Wall Street were relieved to see the economy forging ahead.

"It looks bad compared with the rip-roaring days in the housing sector but this is called normalcy."

Nothing says cowbell like Whitesnake and Tawny Kitaen:


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posted by Ace at 01:51 PM

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