The January non-farm payrolls report indicated that the US economy added 151K jobs during the month, lower than the projected 189K figure. Aside from that, the December jobs increase was downgraded from 292K to 262K.
However, the unemployment rate was still able to drop from 5.0% to 4.9% in January even as the labor force participation rate rose. Wage growth was also seen, as the average hourly earnings figure climbed 0.5% versus the projected 0.3% uptick.
The Dow 30 index ended 211.61 points down to 16,204.97 (-1.29%), the S&P 500 index closed 35.43 points down to 1,880.02 (-1.85%), and the Nasdaq ended 146.4 points lower to 4,363.1 (-3.25%). Futures are regaining ground, though, with Dow 30 index futures up 54 points to 16,185.0 (+0.33%), S&P 500 futures up 7.50 points to 1,882.75 (+0.40%), and Nasdaq futures up 20 points to 4,042.12 (+0.49%).
Commodities and higher-yielders advance
WTI crude oil was able to stay above $31/barrel while Brent crude oil held steady at $34/barrel. Gold prices picked up to $1,166.10/ounce (+0.73%) while silver rose to $14.925/ounce (+1.03%). Commodity currencies were able to take advantage of these gains for a while, as the holiday weekend in China also allowed traders to lock in profits off their recent positions.
A bit of consolidation might be seen in the upcoming trading sessions, as volatility has been subdued in today’s Asian market with the absence of Chinese traders out on a Lunar New Year holiday. European equities also ended lower on Friday but futures are in the green today, suggesting that risk-on flows might be seen throughout the day.
The German DAX closed 107.13 points down to 9,286.23 (-1.13%), the French CAC 40 was down 27.86 points down to 4,200.67 (-0.66%), and the Euro Stoxx index was down 27.23 points to 2,878.07 (-0.94%). German DAX futures are up 62.2 points (+0.68%), French CAC 40 futures are up 23.6 points (+0.56%), and Euro Stoxx futures are down 37.5 points (-1.29%).
Light trading week ahead
Data releases are light in the coming days, with only a speech by Fed head Yellen and the US retail sales reports set to push financial markets strongly in a particular direction. Towards the end of the week, preliminary GDP readings from the top euro zone economies like Germany and Italy are up for release, likely affecting euro zone futures and ECB policy expectations as well.