The August unemployment numbers came out a couple minutes ago. The economy lost 216,000 jobs however the unemployment rate grew to 9.7% and the market, at least for now, is reacting to the second number. The situation, however, is fluid, and we can expect all sorts of volatility today. Meanwhile, average hourly earnings were up .3% and the average hourly work week was unchanged at 33.1 hours per week. The last three months, the economy has shed 467,000, 276,000, and now 216,000. That's an average of just less than 300,000 jobs for the three months. That's better than almost anyone expected after May's numbers. Also, the July and June number were revised up.
Markets broke a four day losing streak yesterday though the gains were nowhere near the losses of the previous four days. They look up this morning but as I said that's still very fluid, and volatility, in my estimation, will be the order of the day. (that's no great prediction as markets are almost always very volatile after the employment numbers come out)
Meanwhile, Treasuries have been as volatile as equities this morning. The ten year U.S. Treasury was as high as 3.4% and now it's back down to 3.34% all this morning. The yield spread between the 2 and 10 year Treasuries continues to be at 2.44%. That's around where it's been for about a month. (with just a little deviation) Oil is currently trading at $67.99 which is slightly higher than it's low earlier in the week but still well below its highs of the last few weeks when it got to just below $75 a barrel.
Markets around the world were mostly up. In the Far East, the Hang Seng in China was up 2.82%, the NIKKEI in Japan was down .27%, and the Straits Time Index in Singapore was up .94%. In Europe, all major market indices were up. The FTSE in London was up 1.11%, the DAX in German was up 1.16%, and the Spanish Index was up 1.42%.
Finally, here's how currencies look. The Dollar is currently up by .31% against the Euro, up .09% against the British Pound, and up .22% against the Japanese Yen.
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