The U.S. economy added 225,000 jobs in January, well above the average 175,000 jobs added per month in 2019.
And still markets fell. The Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 0.54% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.94%. The NASADAQ Composite slipped by 0.54% on the day and the Russell 2000 small cap index continued its insistence on trailing the market and retreated by 1.22%. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) plunged by 1.42%.
A scheduled statistic revision of the annual numbers for all of 2019 reduced jobs added in 2019 by 422,000. The revision and its likely size were announced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in August so this morning’s actual figures weren’t a surprise by any means.
Take that report off the list of possible causes for the retreat and you’re left with:
Sell on the fact. The market has been up strongly this week on a belief that the U.S. economy was stronger than expected and well able to withstand the effects of the coronavirus emergency on the global economy. Today’s report is confirmation of that view so sell on the theory that the good news is now priced in.
It’s the weekend. Who wants to be long when the market is closed for two days.
Continued news from companies such as Apple (AAPL) that the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted supply chains. That increases the odds that the effect of the virus outbreak will last for more rather than less time.
A warning from the Federal Reserve today that the coronavirus outbreak presented a “new risk” to the economic outlook for the U.S. and warned of disruptions in global markets. Nothing new here except that the Fed said it.
The only blemish on the jobs reports this morning–an uptick in the official unemployment rate to 3.6% from 3.5%. This is well within the statistical margin of error and essentially means nothing, but for a market rally built on belief in upward trends, this is a data point ill the wrong direction.