After a week of trade tensions and slides in the stock market, Friday came with some great news. The non-farm payrolls job data lifted markets, ending the week on a high. Both the NASDAQ and S&P 500, two important stock market benchmarks, finished in positive territory.
Here are all the most important data and insights from the latest report.
Jobs Data Will See the Year End on a High Note
November’s job market was one of the best in recent memory, with non-farm payroll numbers increasing by 266,000. The new jobs sent the unemployment rate down from 3.6% in October, to 3.5% at the end of November. The figures beat analyst estimates, causing confidence to surge in the stock market. Analysts had predicted just 187,000 new jobs in November and expected the unemployment rate to remain stable.
Industry insiders are more than pleased with the results. Larry Kudlow, the National Economic Council director said last week that the “Bottom line, America is working. These are very strong numbers. These are happy numbers. These are sunny Friday numbers.”
The data was the best seen since January and some analysts have noted that it has justified the Federal Reserve’s conservative approach to rate cuts.
Jim Cramer, a widely respected industry analyst believes that the positive data shows that America’s economy is strong despite trade tensions. He even predicted that America could walk away from a China trade deal without a huge impact. Many investors will see the latest data as a sign that America can continue to prosper, even if trading relationships are strained.
The manufacturing sector, which has lagged other areas of the economy this year, saw strong growth in November. 54,000 jobs were added, with 41,300 of those in motor vehicles and parts manufacturing.
Index Performance at the Close on Friday
The stock market’s major indexes hit fresh highs when the markets closed on Friday.
- The NASDAQ Composite (COMP) was up 1.00%, contributing to growth of 30.46% for the year.
- The S&P 500 (SPX) was up 0.91%, contributing to growth of 25.49% for the year.
Investors have enjoyed a strong bull market in 2019, and that could continue well into 2020. Fresh jobs data will be released in January, which will coincide with fourth quarter corporate earnings data. With retail performing strong in recent weeks, there could be some positive surprises in the new year.
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