There is nothing like writing about the economy and financial markets to humble you (although I don't think most pundits notice). On Wednesday morning, I suggested that "ADP's [new jobs] number is close enough to expectations that the Bureau of Labor Statistics's Friday nonfarm-payroll report is unlikely to surprise and spark a big move in the stock market."
Sure enough, today's Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report showed a surprise drop in the unemployment rate to 7.8% (the rate had held pretty steady between 8.1% and 8.3% through August). As of10:20 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) is up 0.53%, and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) is up 0.56% -- largely, I suspect, on this news. While that may not qualify as a "big move," I think the news will be enough to sustain investors' enthusiasm throughout the day.
The employment data was too much for some people to take in. Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch tweeted: "Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers." I'm not sure that kind of carefully considered opinion will burnish his reputation as a business leader.
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