U.S. jobs were again at the focus of the markets as the BLS
report drove stocks during Friday's session. The key release showed
that only 115,000 jobs were created, well below the consensus
expectation of 165,000.
Beyond this, private payrolls also came in well below
expectations, missing the mark by about 48,000 jobs. However, the
unemployment rate did fall down to 8.1% from the previous reading
of 8.2%, although much of this reduction could be due to jobseekers
leaving the workforce.
Given the gloominess of the report and the other poor economic
data earlier in the week, stocks sold off once again to close out
the worst week of 2012 so far. The Dow fell by about 1.3% while the
S&P 500 slid by 1.6% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq slumped by 2.3%
in Friday trading.
Losses were pretty much across the board, although banking and
big tech led the way lower, closely followed by basic materials and
industrials. Seemingly the only sectors that held up were in the
utilities and consumer goods space, although many of these
securities finished in the red as well (see
The Comprehensive Guide To Brazil ETFs
Thanks to this turn for the worse, traders once again sought out
safety in the bond market as the benchmark ten-year note fell below
the 1.9% mark in Friday trading. The U.S. dollar also rose on the
day, helped by gains against the major European currencies,
although weakness was seen against the yen to close out the
This dollar strength helped to hammer commodity markets yet
again, as broad losses hit this risk sensitive market. All of the
energy commodities retreated by at least 2.0% on the day while
softs also finished lower too. Metals were more mixed as most
products finished close to breakeven although gold and silver did
finish in the green in Friday trading.
ETF trading was surprisingly heavy in Friday's session, breaking
the trend of light trading that investors saw earlier in the week.
Pretty much all the major products saw outsized activity on the
day, but especially so in funds tracking the Nasdaq, commodities,
and U.S. sectors.
In particular, the
iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods Sector ETF (
was an active fund in Friday trading as investors sought greater
safety in their equity exposure. The product usually sees volume of
about 42,000 shares but experienced a modest spike to 89,200 in
today's session (see
Top Three Consumer Staples ETFs
The product has close to three-fourths of its assets in consumer
staples including heavy positions in firms like
Procter & Gamble (
. Staple firms like these held up better than most in today's
session, allowing the product to fall by about 1% on what was a
pretty negative day overall in the markets.
Another ETF which experienced a boost in volume was the
United States Oil Fund (
. This popular product-which has over $1.2 billion in AUM-usually
sees volume of about 9.7 million shares a day but saw levels soar
to just over 20 million in Friday trading (read
Is An Oil Sands ETF On The Horizon?
Undoubtedly, a great deal of this trading activity came thanks
to the negative commodity reaction to the jobs report which
suggested to many that less robust demand was on the horizon. This
sentiment greatly impacted this popular way to play the oil markets
as the product slid by nearly 4% ahead of the weekend.
(see more on ETFs in the
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PROCTER & GAMBL (PG): Free Stock Analysis
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