Jobs Report: Why Does It Matter?

I was asked a very important question Friday morning by a very intelligent person: Why does Wall Street care about the employment report? This question inspired me to write this article because so many people simply do not understand how Wall Street works.

Jobs Report- What is it?

The first Friday of every month, the Labor Department releases its nonfarm payrolls report which illustrates how the labor market (and the broader economy) fared over the past 30 days. does a great job defining this report:

The employment situation is a set of labor market indicators based on two separate surveys in this one report. Based on the Household Survey, the unemployment rate measures the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force. Other key series come from the Establishment Survey (of business establishments). Nonfarm payroll employment counts the number of paid employees working part-time or full-time in the nation’s business and government establishments. The average workweek reflects the number of hours worked in the nonfarm sector. Average hourly earnings reveal the basic hourly rate for major industries as indicated in nonfarm payrolls.

The monthly employment report is one of the most anticipated economic reports released each month because it gives investors a look on how all major sectors of the economy are performing. Furthermore, the report is released at the beginning of each month and is comprehensive in nature. The report looks at the health of the jobs market and shows what happened to income and productivity during the past 30 days. As a result, investors are able to get a good read on the economy from which they can draw their own conclusions on what other economic reports will look like for that month.

Why Does Wall Street Care?

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Stocks Negatively Reverse After Encountering Resistance

Thursday 12.03.09

Market Commentary:

The major averages negatively reversed (opened higher and closed lower) after a the European Central Bank (ECB) held rates steady and disappointing economic data was released. Volume, an important indicator of institutional sponsorship, was mixed compared to Wednesday’s levels; higher on the NYSE and lower on the Nasdaq exchange. As a result, the NYSE indexes marked a distribution day as they fell on higher volume but the Nasdaq avoided one since volume receded. Advancers led decliners by almost a 2-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by over a 2-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq exchange. There were 44 high-ranked companies from the Leaders List that made a new 52-week high and appeared on the BreakOuts Page, lower than the total of 46 issues that appeared on the prior session. Leadership among high-ranked growth stocks had dried up in recent weeks, so the expansion in new highs this week has been a welcome improvement. New 52-week highs solidly outnumbered new 52-week lows on the NYSE and on the Nasdaq exchange.

Jobs & The Economy

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