Friday, September 7, 2012

August Non-Farm Payrolls Miss Flatlines Stocks

The US economy showed another sign of sluggishness, as August Non-farm Payrolls rose less than expected, gaining 96,000 net new jobs for the month, well below consensus estimates of 125,000.

Additionally, June and July data sets were revised downward by a combined 41,000. June payrolls were just 45,000, while the number in July was revised down to 141,000.

The official jobless rate fell from 8.3% to 8.1%, as labor force participation fell to its lowest level in decades, at 63.5%.

The poor showing for the labor market was seen as a blow to president Obama's re-election bid, and also as cause for the Fed supplying more stimulus when the FOMC meets next week.

Volume more or less returned to the doldrums, following the massive ramp-up Thursday, following the unveiling of the ECB's new bond purchase program.

Stocks tended to just meander around the flat line, with the odd exception of the NYSE Composite, which gapped up at the open and stayed in a tight range all session long.

It's somewhat a sad commentary on markets that they are so well-coordinated in response to news, specifically that this or that central bank is making money easier for bankers to borrow at little to no interest, all the while the general public scratching out a living without any mechanism for saving.

Outward appearances may be deceiving. This kind of controlled economics seldom works out well in the long run.

Precious metals may be telling the markets something. Gold and silver soared again today and are at multi-month highs, generally a sign that economic or geopolitical conditions are strained and risk assets not to be trusted, though one could hardly suspect that anything evil may come the way for stocks, as well as they have performed this year.

Dow 13,306.64, +14.64(0.11%)
Nasdaq 3,136.42, +0.61(0.02%)
S&P 500 1,437.92, +5.80(0.40%)
NYSE Composite 8,233.98, +73.42(0.90%)
NYSE Volume 3,627,325,750
Nasdaq Volume 1,694,756,120
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3490-1997
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 449-40 (extreme)
WTI crude oil: 96.42, +0.89
Gold: 1,740.50, +34.90
Silver: 33.69, +1.02

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