Major averages closed flat to higher yesterday on lower volume near the top end of their ranges. While the intraday action was volatile at times, leading stocks held up reasonably well in what turned out to be a somewhat quiet trading session ahead of this morning's Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly jobs report.
This morning's report showed that the U.S. added 151,000 jobs in August vs an expected 173,000. The prior three jobs reports came in stronger than expected. Manufacturing and construction jobs declined, while service-related jobs rose, confirming that we remain in a "McJobs" economy. Today's report lowers the odds of a rate hike. Futures are rallying on the news.
The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9%. A broader measure of unemployment known as U6 was flat at 9.7%. Average hourly wages rose 0.1% to $25.73. Hourly pay increased 2.4% from August 2015 to August 2016, a bit weaker than expected. Revisions to prior months showed that 275,000 new jobs were created in July instead of 255,000, but June's gain was cut to 271,000 from 292,000.
Keep in mind the markets may stage fake outs of strength or weakness as the tug-o-war between the perception of delayed rate hikes vs. a weak economy both at home and abroad vs. continued levels of quantitative easing play out.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions company Impinj (PI) had a buyable gap up on strong earnings. We reported on PI on its recent pocket pivot when we wrote on 8-30-16: "PI should be bought closer to support to minimize risk. Risk control is always the most important rule in investing." Later that day, it traded close to its 10-day moving average. It is a thinner name with no earnings so it is a more speculative play, but its technicals are looking strong.