Exxon Pushes the S&P 500 Higher

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) is up today following a weaker-than-expected jobs report that is seen as a sign that the Federal Reserve will not begin to draw down its asset purchases at its next meeting. U.S. oil prices are down on the jobs report, but ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) is up as international oil prices remain unchanged. As of 1:40 p.m. EDT, the S&P 500 is up 0.48% to 1,753, while the largest exchange-traded fund tracking the S&P 500, the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEMKT: SPY  ) , is up 0.5%.

There were two U.S. economic releases today.

Report

Period

Result

Previous

Nonfarm payrolls

September

148,000

193,000

Unemployment rate

September

7.2%

7.3%

Construction spending

August

0.6%

0.6%

The one to pay attention to is the latest jobs report. The economy added just 148,000 jobs in September, down from August's 193,000 and below analyst expectations of 185,000. Still, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.2% for the month.

US Change in Nonfarm Payrolls Chart

US Change in Nonfarm Payrolls data by YCharts.

The weak jobs report is pushing the market up today, as investors believe it means the Federal Reserve is less likely to taper asset purchases when it meets again later this month. While the stock market is up, U.S. oil prices are down on the news, as the weak jobs report likely means the economy was worse than expected in September. West Texas Intermediate crude is down 1.1% to $98.11, while Brent crude is basically unchanged at $109.73. Oil stocks are up slightly on the news, with ExxonMobil, the second-largest stock in the S&P 500, rising 0.4% and Chevron up 0.3%.

While U.S. oil prices are being weighed down by new supplies and falling demand at home, international oil prices remain high

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