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Profit from the Pros By Kevin Matras Executive Vice President
Stocks End Lower As More Jobs Data Awaits
Stocks closed modestly lower yesterday, giving up earlier intraday gains, as the market awaits more jobs data.
Yesterday's ADP Employment report came in weaker than expected at 103,000 private payroll jobs in November vs. the consensus for 123,000. The report was cheered in the morning, but soon came off their highs before turning lower.
A 100K+ jobs report is not a bad report. And missing by 20,000 is not that much. Lately, economic reports coming in on the slightly weaker side have been viewed as a positive for the market as it underscores the idea that the Fed does not need to raise rates any further. And their 'higher for longer' stance may not need to be as long either.
Today we'll get more jobs data with the Challenger Job-Cut Report, and the Weekly Jobless Claims.
But the jobs report everybody is really waiting on is Friday's Employment Situation report. At the moment, the consensus is calling for 180,000 jobs being created in November (150K in the private sector and 30K in the public), while the unemployment rate stays the same at 3.9%. That comes out at 8:30 AM ET tomorrow.
In other news, yesterday's MBA Mortgage Applications rose by 2.8% w/w as Treasury yields and mortgage rates fell. Purchases were down -0.3%, but refi's were up a sharp 13.9%.
The International Trade in Goods and Services report showed the trade deficit expanding to -$64.3 billion vs. last month's -$61.2B and views for -$64.1B.
The Productivity and Costs report showed nonfarm productivity up 5.2% (annual rate) vs. last month's 4.7% and estimates for 4.8%. Conversely, unit labor costs were down -1.2%.
In addition to the two jobs reports out this morning, we'll also get Wholesale Inventories, and Consumer Credit.
But again, the main event this week will be Friday's Employment report.
With 2 days left, the indexes are currently lower for the week.
But not by much. And one good report could easily put stocks back on the plus side and vying for new YTD highs.
A few modest down days have not done anything to mess up the current Q4 rally.
And with the seasonal trends in the markets favor, it looks like there's more upside to go.
See you tomorrow,
Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research
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