The Department of Labor’s monthly employment report released on Friday eased the market fear of recession, sending U. S. stocks a little higher. Nonetheless, the same report still shows a steady decline in economic growth, maintaining expectations for another Federal Reserve interest rate cut in late October.
While U. S. stocks closed mostly higher on Friday, the week has still netted a loss of the Dow and S&5 500 indexes. This week has become a very turbulent week as volatility heightened after Fed chair Jerome Powell said the economy “faces some risks” but is still “in a good place.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.42% rose 372.68 points, or 1.42%, to 26,573.72, the S&P 500 index SPX, +1.42% added 41.38 points, or 1.42% to 2,952.01 while the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +1.40% advanced 110.21 points, or 1.4%, to 7,982.47.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.38%, was down more than 500 points, or 1.9%, at 26,078, with a two-session skid of more than 3%. The unfortunate numbers represent one of the lowest quarter starts since the financial crisis in 2008 – 2009. The Dow slumped 19.4% in the fourth quarter OF 2008, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
For the week, the Dow lost 0.92% for the third week of declines, while the S&P 500 ended 0.33% lower, also posting a third-down week, but the Nasdaq managed at the gain of 0.54% snapping a two-week losing streak.
The Department of Labor’s report revealed that the U. S. economy had seen a drop in unemployment to 3.5% in September, the lowest month recorded since 1969. However, the same report also revealed that the economy only created 136,000 new jobs. The new jobs generated last month fell slightly lower than what is expected.
“This is the classic definition of a ‘Goldilocks’ report,” Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors, told MarketWatch. “The rate of job growth is slowing, but the labor market continues to be a strength of the U.S. economy.”