After the open… After a whipsaw session on Thursday, the markets were given an unexpected injection of good news on Friday morning. The economy added 248K jobs in September, which was enough to push the unemployment rate down to 5.9% — below the psychologically significant threshold of 6% for the first time since 2008. The dollar, already on a tear, has already strengthened considerably on the news, and gold is now below $1,200. That the tightening labor market has still done nothing to increase hourly earnings is a lingering worry, but for now, the Street is taking the news as a sign that the good times will keep on rolling. The S&P 500 is up 1% at present.
Here are your Thursday morning market metrics. Industries doing well today include Airlines, Paper & Forest Products and Road & Rail. Industries showing weakness include Gas Utilities, Electric Utilities and Independent Power & Renewables.
The VIX is down 8.3% to 14.82 after closing on Thursday at 16.16. The most active option strike this morning is Bank of America (BAC), with 9,878 October-3 17 calls changing hands. The put-call volume ratio is 1.1, (395,879/435,076). NYSE Adv/Dec 2,163/784. Nasdaq Adv/Dec 1,861/498.
Julian Close has been a business writer since the first day of the twenty-first century, having written for PRA International and the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping. He graduated from Davidson College in 1993 and received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary Baldwin College in 2011. He became a stockbroker in 1993, but now works for Fresh Brewed Media and uses his powers only for good. You can see closing trades for all Julian's long and short positions and track his long term performance via twitter: @JulianClose_MIC.