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Plus New Zacks Strong Buys for Friday, December 6
Kevin Matras   
Profit from the Pros
By Kevin Matras
Executive Vice President
Zacks Investment Research

Stocks Up Ahead Of Today's Jobs Report

Stocks closed modestly higher yesterday, but are still down for the week so far.

But a solid jobs report this morning could easily turn things around.

At 8:30 AM ET, we'll get the always important Employment Situation report, which is released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The consensus is calling for 180,000 new jobs to have been created last month (168,000 in the private sector, and 12,000 in the public). The unemployment rate is expected to stay the same at 3.6%.

Wednesday's ADP Employment report, which is typically released two days before the government's official employment report, came in less than expected with 'only' 67,000 new private payroll jobs vs. expectations for 156,000. Given ADP's spotty track record of predicting what the government report will say, it was quickly dismissed. But ADP's big miss earlier in the week does have people particularly interested in what the BLS report will say this morning.

We'll also get the Consumer Sentiment report, and Wholesale Trade report at 10:00 AM ET. And then Consumer Credit at 3:00 PM ET.

So it could be a busy day.

In other news, the U.S.-China trade talks continue. In spite of some pointed rhetoric from both sides over the past couple of weeks, their respective negotiating teams have been hard at work trying to put the final details of a phase one trade agreement on paper.

It's still believed that both countries want to make a deal. And with China's economy growing at the slowest pace in nearly 30 years, many believe they need this deal.

Will we see phase two or phase three anytime soon? I'm not holding my breath. But getting phase one in the books, coupled with some tariff relief will go a long way for the U.S., China, and the global economy.

In the meantime, our economy looks great. That was underscored by yesterday's better than expected Weekly Jobless Claims report, better than expected International Trade report, and a rising Factory Orders report.

The market has performed spectacularly this year.

After today, there's just a little over three weeks left in 2019.

So let the end-of-year-rally begin.


Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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