Major averages finished mixed at the lower end of their respective trading ranges yesterday on lower volume ahead of today's August payrolls data. Estimates range from 173,000 to 257,000, with the consensus at 223,000.
The pace of hiring in the United States slowed in August to 173,000, the smallest increase since March and the second smallest gain of the year. But the dropoff probably wasn’t weak enough to force the Federal Reserve to reconsider plans to raise interest rates this year as the unemployment rate fell to 5.1% from 5.3%, the lowest level since April 2008. Plus wages also picked up.
Futures fell on the news due to fears of a rate hike sometime this year. Indeed, CME futures predict a 27% change of a rate hike when the Fed meets September 17, a 39% when they meet October 28, and a 58% chance of a hike when they meet December 16.
Over in Europe, the ECB yesterday said they may accelerate their bond-buying program which initially pushed US markets higher in yesterday's trade.
Expect elevated levels of volatility to continue.
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