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Stocks surged on Friday, capping off the market's best week of the year!
While Friday's Employment Situation Report came in lighter than expected (90,000 private sector jobs vs. the 175,000 consensus), it was sharply higher than the 27,000 private sector jobs that the ADP report had predicted.
Total nonfarm payrolls came in at 75,000 (that's a gain of 90,000 private sector jobs, but a loss of -15,000 public sector jobs). The unemployment rate remained steady at 3.6%, a near 50-year low. The biggest jobs creators came from Professional and Business Services with 33,000 new jobs (+498K in the last 12 months), Health Care with 16,000 (+391K in the last 12 months), and Construction with 4,000 (215K in the last 12 months).
As I mentioned on Thursday, a blowout jobs report would likely send the market soaring. But an underperforming report could have the same effect since it would increase the likelihood that the Fed might cut rates sooner rather than later.
Ever since the Fed suggested, last Tuesday, that a rate cut might be forthcoming, stocks surged higher. And Friday's jobs report gave the Fed plenty of ammo to follow through on that.
Traders were also watching developments regarding tariffs on Mexico. Optimism was growing on Friday that a deal would be struck and tariffs would be averted. And on Friday evening, that optimism was proven correct.
While that doesn't preclude the administration from using the threat of tariffs again in the future, it does remove the immediate threat of tariffs at this juncture, and gives the market one less thing to worry about.
Last week's performance was one for the history books.
And I would not be surprised to see another strong week this week.
See you tomorrow,
Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research
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