US Equity Markets Sink Post-NFP
Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.
252,000 nonfarm payrolls were added in December, slightly exceeding the 242,000 consensus. In addition, October and November's numbers were revised higher by a total of 50,000.
Additionally, private payrolls, manufacturing payrolls, and the unemployment rate were all better-than-expected.
However, average hourly earnings fell 0.2% vs. forecasts for a 0.2% increase.
S&P 500 futures reacted positively to the numbers, rising 0.7% in the ensuing minutes.
The overall numbers were indicative of ongoing economic growth. However, the weakness in wages gives the Fed get another reason to not pursue a tighter monetary policy.
Nonetheless, stocks had rebounded sharply in the past three days, and the initial post-NFP rally was met with profit-taking.
The S&P 500 hit a morning low of 2038.33, down 1.2%, but crawled a bit off the lows to finish the week at 2044.81.
A short-lived afternoon rally was led by the biotech sector as the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF (IBB) pushed over 1.1% off its intraday low.
Metals and mining stocks also performed well as the US dollar fell.
The commodities complex was not full of joy, however, as crude oil fell again today, pushing energy shares lower.
Baker Hughes (BHI) announced its oil and gas rig counts for December 2014. The results showed sharp reductions in North American rig usage. Analysts expect significant additional reductions in the coming months.
Tomorrow's Financial Outlook
There are no major US economic reports on the calendar for Monday.
Alcoa (AA) reports earnings after the close Monday, which should give investors a sense of global aluminum demand, which speaks directly to economic growth trends.
Elsewhere, traders will be closely watching crude oil, which is still having trouble finding stable ground. Russia is also increasingly volatile as the ruble swings wildly day-to-day.
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