Major averages finished roughly flat yesterday on lower volume. The European Central Bank denied the QE tapering rumors which provoked a minor rally allowing the majors to finish closer to the top of their trading ranges after trading lower prior to the announcement. The intraday 5-minute bar chart of the majors showed good volume drove the averages higher suggesting that institutions took some notice of the news.
The British pound staged a mini-crash losing as much as 6% against major currencies overnight as French president Hollande urged the European Union to take a tough stance on the UK when the Brexit negotiations kick off. Some economists fear Brexit would significantly hurt UK trade. At that time, US futures were trading lower by around -0.2%. A computer trading error was also blamed as a 6% fall seemed excessive.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly jobs report released this morning showed an increase of 156,000 non-farm payrolls in September while unemployment ticked up to 5%. Average hourly pay rose 0.2%. This compares to forecasts which were for 172,000 jobs added, unemployment staying at 4.9%, and average hourly pay rising 0.3%.
Prior to the jobs report, the markets were pricing in around a 64% chance of an interest-rate hike from the Federal Reserve in December, but with the somewhat weak jobs data, the odds of a rate hike should diminish. Futures initially rallied on the news, reversing their earlier losses, but are now down again at the time of this writing.