At the close today, the Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 2.28% to 38905. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had added 2.12%. The NASDAQ Composite was higher by 2.56% and the NASDAQ 100 was ahead 2.78%.
All this on the heels of a December jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Standards that showed the economy added 223.000 jobs in December. (Economists had projected 202,000 jobs.) And on greater than-expected moderation in the pace of wage gains. Average hourly earnings climbed 0.3% month over month against expectations for a gain of 0.4%. Average hourly earnings rose 4.6% year over year against an expected 5.0% increase.
The mix was enough to tip market sentiment, for the day, toward a belief that the Federal Reserve will see today’s data as evidence that the labor market is slowing and look to end interest rate increases sooner rather than later. The news also pushed back fears that the U.S. economy is headed into recession. Economists say that a recession is unlikely while job growth remains so strong.
On the news, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury fell 16 basis points to 3.56%.
The unemployment rate in December fell to 3.5%. Economists had expected an unemployment rate of 3.7%.