Markets today were higher across the board following a disappointing jobs report. The Dow gained 72 points to 18,491. Trading volume on the day was strong in the morning but faded and was down at the close as traders undoubtedly bolted for a weekend in the Hamptons. For the week the Dow gained about a half percentage point.
The August labor report came in 30,000 jobs below expectations by posting a reading of 151,000 new jobs down significantly from last month’s reading of close to 275,000. The unemployment rate stayed steady at 4.9%. The report quelled the need to raise interest rates in the US pushing European markets up since they were sweating that a strong report would force the Fed to raise rates to slow the US economy and thus European exports to the US not to mention widen the interest gap.
What is happening with the global economy? The ruin of South Korean shipping giant Hanjin could be another sign of a slowing global economy. Hanjin was done in by a surplus of ships, slowing global trade and too much debt. While some of its routes will be taken by competitors like Hyundai, the fallout could last a few months and US retailers are worried that shelves will be less stocked heading into Christmas. Another sign of overseas trouble are rumors that Ford is suspending a project to build and sell a new line of small cars and SUVs to third world nations. Sources say that Ford had planned on introducing a new line of efficient vehicles in India, China and other emerging markets but waved off the deal when development costs became too high while sales of existing vehicles were slack.
The NWSA or Northwest Seaport alliance which include the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, has seen import container volumes rise 2.6% YOY while export containers are up 12% due to agriculture exports. Metric tons of bulk exports however like logs, autos and petroleum are down 48%, 3% and 37% respectively due to softening growth in Asia.
Gold and oil today rallied on the jobs report. WTI crude gained 2.5% to $44.25 per barrel. Gold was up $11.20 an ounce to $1,328.30.
Markets will be closed on Monday with the Labor Day Holiday. Have a good weekend.