The Labor Department announced today that the economy added 200,000 jobs in the final month of 2011, dropping the unemployment rate to 8.5% surpassing expectations. You'd figure that investors would warmly greet news that the job market is firming up, since continued joblessness is a key area holding back the country's recovery. However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
The latest report continues a trend of falling unemployment after it tipped past 10% in 2009.
So why did markets fall in the face of good unemployment news? One explanation might be that corporate earnings have decoupled from job growth. Earnings in recent years have been driven more from productivity gains with fewer workers. That could mean investors glean less meaning from month-to-month unemployment figures. Or it could just be that investors are pulling out money after a brisk start to the year.
If you're on the hunt for more ideas in the year ahead, check out the new report we've compiled named "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." It details one company set for a bright future, but it'll be available for only a limited time. Get access to the report and find out the name of this legendary company.
Fool.com graphics/photo/art editor Dari FitzGerald doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.