Friday, March 7, 2013 -
Stocks spent most of the day underwater and closed mixed, despite a jobs report on Friday that met or slightly exceeded expectations in which the unemployment rate bumped up.
After failing to sustain an opening advance of positive futures, stocks turned in a lackluster performance over the course of the trading day on Friday. The choppy trading came despite the release of a relatively upbeat monthly employment report.
The indexes trended slightly underwater most of the day after the positive opening, eventually closing mixed to down for a third consecutive session. While the Nasdaq dipped 16 points (-0.4%) to 4,336, the Dow rose 31 points (+0.2%) to 16,453 and the S&P 500 crept up 1 and less than +0.1% to 1,878. The NYSE finished at -0.1% and the small cap Russell 2000 flat at 0.0%.
In spite of three consecutive lackluster sessions, the indexes all moved higher for the week due to the substantial rally seen on Tuesday. The S&P 500 jumped by 1 percent, while the Dow and the Nasdaq advanced by 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
Mixed Jobs, Too
Just like the stock market, this month’s jobs report was mixed, beating expectations but also having the unemployment rate go up. The Labor Department reported that non-farm payroll employment rose by 175,000 jobs in February compared to economist estimates for an increase of about 150,000 jobs.
Additionally, the report showed a net upward revision to the two previous months. But despite the continued job growth, the unemployment rate edged up to 6.7 percent in February after dipping to a five-year low of 6.6 percent in January. The unemployment rate had been expected to come in unchanged.
The bump in the unemployment rate gives the Fed a little breathing room should they want to slow down the QE3 tapering program in the event of rising . . . . . .
Click here to continue . . .
. . . Click here to continue . . .