Markets are bright and cheery this morning, following a surprisingly upbeat jobs report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is up nearly 90 points by late morning, as the good employment news doubles up on yesterday's unexpectedly decent GDP report, which showed an annual increase in the nation's Gross Domestic Product of 2.8% last quarter.
The 204,000 new non-farm jobs added to the economy in October smashed analysts' predictions of a puny 120,000, but failed to lower the unemployment rate -- which ticked up to 7.3% from last month's 7.2%.
Consumers are still feeling uneasy about the economy, as well. The Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index fell to a despondent 72.0 in the latest reading, after registering a 73.2 for the last October reading.
Despite the uplifting economic indicators of late, an undercurrent of worry is apparent, as bond prices fell and fears of a tapering of the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program again begins to gnaw at investors' nerves.
Big banks lead a peppy Dow
Financial giants JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) are feeling their oats, with JPMorgan up well over 3% so far, and Goldman having risen more than 2%. Doubtless, the extraordinarily successful initial public offering of Twitter yesterday helped float both banks' boats, with Goldman Sachs' lead banker, Anthony Noto, garnering kudos for a job well done.
In other news, JPMorgan Chase updated its investors on the bank's cost-cutting measures this morning, noting that its plan to reduce 4,000 jobs is proceeding ahead of schedule, and should be completed a full year earlier than anticipated. The head of Chase Consumer and Community Banking told a gathering of institutional investors in Boston that its mobile initiatives, such as interactive ATMs and mobile check deposits, have led to the ability to shed employees, thus trimming labor expenses.
As lunchtime approaches, the Dow is staying firmly in the green, but that may change later, as taper talk begins to pick up -- setting the stage for a possible tumble later in the day.
Fool contributor Amanda Alix has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Goldman Sachs. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.