Jobs Number Disappoints, Stocks End the Week in the Red


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"While there has been continuing news out of North Korea, what really hit the markets today was the worse-than-expected nonfarm payrolls number for March," explained Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell. "This poor number sent most sectors deep into the red for most of the day, as technology stocks especially lagged." Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) recovered significantly from its intraday low, it -- and other major market indices -- were lower for the week, while the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) muscled higher.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including :

  • Markets end the week in the red, jobs growth slows to a crawl, and Oracle Corporation ( ORCL ) attracted bearish speculators.

Though the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed lower on the day and the week, bulls took heart in the blue-chip index's intraday recovery. After being down more than 170 points at its intraday low, the Dow closed off 40.9 points, or 0.3%, at 14,565.25. A dozen of the Dow's 30 components closed higher on the day, with Boeing ( BA ) leading the pack with a gain of 1.4%. Pacing the 24 decliners was American Express ( AXP ), which swallowed a 2.2% loss. For the week, the Dow shed less than 0.1%.

Also enjoying a similar midday reversal was the S&P 500 Index (SPX), which closed down just 6.7 points, or 0.4%, at 1,553.28. Tech stocks brought up the rear, as the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) pulled back 21.1 points, or 0.7%, at 3,203.86. For the week, the SPX dropped 1% while the COMP gave back 1.9%.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) moved steadily lower throughout the trading session, as uncertainty was lifted from the market following the nonfarm payrolls report. After trading as high as 15.65, the VIX settled with a gain of less than 0.1 point, up 0.2% at 13.92. For the week, the VIX added 9.6%.



A Trader's Take :

"Despite the unexpected jobs news this morning, the market actually showed quite a bit of resilience and finished well off its lows," Bell noted. "In addition, we saw leadership from small-caps, which was encouraging."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • Nonfarm payrolls grew at their slowest pace since last summer, as just 88,000 jobs were added in March, falling short of expectations. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.6%, primarily because of those exiting the labor force entirely. (Reuters)
  • Boeing ( BA ) was under the spotlight, as it scheduled another test flight of its grounded Dreamliner 787 Friday afternoon. The flight, which will yield data for the Federal Aviation Administration, was scheduled to last roughly two hours. (CNBC)
  • Consumer credit expanded by $18.1 billion in February to a seasonally adjusted $2.8 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. Nonrevolving credit (such as student and auto loans) surged by $17.6 billion during the month, accounting for the lion's share of the shift. (The Wall Street Journal)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Apple Inc. (AAPL) put buyers expect modest downside over the next few days.
  2. Oracle Corporation ( ORCL ) saw a rare inflow of long puts.
  3. Nokia Corporation (NOK) faced its second downgrade in as many days.
  4. EMC Corporation (EMC) bears see a short-term break below the $20 mark.
  5. Delta Air Lines (DAL) traders targeted short-term upside on the heels of a price-target hike.


For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.



Commodities :

Crude moved lower today following the disappointing nonfarm payrolls report. May-dated oil gave back 56 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $92.70 per barrel. For the week, meanwhile, black gold dropped 4.7%.

A lower dollar and safe-haven demand boosted gold, however, as June futures rose $23.50, or 1.5%, to $1,575.90 an ounce. Despite this sharp rise, gold was still off 1.2% for the week.


At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's Investment Research reviews the trading day in detail, covering major events and key market developments. Don't miss this critical, timely and insightful report. If you enjoyed today's edition of Market Recap, sign up here for free daily delivery straight to your inbox.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Options
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