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Profit from the Pros By Kevin Matras Executive Vice President
Stocks Soared Yesterday, All Eyes On This Morning's Employment Report
Stocks soared yesterday, particularly the Dow and the S&P, which erased Wednesday's losses, and especially the small-cap Russell 2000, which led the way with a 2.74% outsized gain.
Even though reports of another Omicron case was discovered (this time in MN), the market breathed a sigh of relief that lockdowns were not being considered at this time.
(Although, after the close, 5 more cases were confirmed in NY.)
So far, the belief remains that the current vaccines should provide some protection, and that the symptoms of Omicron appear to be mild.
Omicron and inflation will continue to influence the market.
But the focus will shift today to the Employment Situation report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The consensus is calling for 543,000 new jobs to have been created in October (525K in the private sector and 18K in the public), with the unemployment rate ticking down from 4.6% to 4.5%, while the participation rate ticks up from 61.6% to 61.7%.
Wednesday's ADP Employment Report beat expectations with a gain of 534,000 new private payroll jobs last month vs. the consensus for 525,000. While the ADP report has a spotty track record of predicting what the BLS will say, it was encouraging nonetheless to see a positive surprise.
Moreover, yesterday's Challenger Job-Cut Report fell to 14,875 from last month's 22,822. And the Weekly Jobless Claims beat expectations at 222K vs. views for 245K.
But the Employment report is its own report. Nevertheless, the other jobs related reports are pointing in the right direction.
The Employment report comes out at 8:30 AM ET.
The market will also get the PMI Composite report, the ISM Services Index, and the Factory Orders report as well.
And traders will be looking for signs that Congress will pass the government funding measure by midnight tonight to avoid a government shutdown. The House has already approved an extension that goes thru February 18, 2022. It's been reported that the Senate has struck a deal to do the same. But nothing is done until it's done.
Should be a busy day.
In the meantime, we've got exactly 4 weeks and 1 trading day left until the end of the month and the end of the year. And with December typically being a strong month for stocks, we look poised for a strong finish.
So make sure you're taking full advantage of it.
Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research
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