The November jobs numbers are in, and Wall Street is
responding with a collective yawn.
U.S. employers added 146,000 jobs in November - ahead of the
September and October pace, but behind the 150,000-per-month
average over the last two years. The more encouraging news was
that the unemployment rate dropped from 7.9% to 7.7% - its lowest
level in four years.
But the jobs numbers have failed to wow investors, as stocks
have been largely stagnant today. The S&P 500 is basically
flat, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up only 0.4%.
The Nasdaq is down half a percent, driven largely by another bad
The lack of positive movement in the market is a bit of a
surprise considering the jobs numbers were much better than
people were estimating. Analysts were expecting only 80,000 new
jobs to be added after
left millions of businesses without power in early November.
While it played less of a role in the jobs numbers than
analysts were expecting, Sandy had everything to do with the
improved unemployment rate. About 350,000 Americans left the work
force in November - many of them leaving because their businesses
were literally under water.
What soured the jobs numbers even further was that the
September and October numbers were revised down by roughly 50,000
There was a lot of anticipation leading up to this jobs
report. In the end, however, it came and went without making much
of a dent.