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Lately stocks have been repeating this daily pattern of opening higher, being sold off after the initial rally, then closing strongly. It wasn't explosive but clearly the dip buyers are still hanging around and that means there is still a lot of underinvested folks out there looking for an opportunity to buy. The Dow gained 49-points, the small caps lagged, and the Nasdaq Composite made a new all-time closing high after a 0.50% gain.
Stocks initially rejoiced at the weaker than expected jobs report on Friday morning. However, the higher opening was quickly sold as investors tried to make sense of the situation as we headed in a long holiday weekend. Volume was light for a day with this kind of important report, but that's the nature of the trading day before Labor Day weekend. The Dow ended the day up 73-points, which was about half-way between the day's high and low.
Stocks were up Monday but slowly sold-off through mid-week as traders anticipated the release of the August jobs report Friday. The report was thought to give traders an idea of whether the Fed would raise interest rates or not in the next FOMC meeting. The consensus estimates were an addition of 185,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 4.8%. The actual report came out with an addition of 151,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 4.9%.
With the jobs report under the expected values,
151,000 Jobs Added to U.S. Economy; Unemployment Rate at 4.9%
It was another fairly flat day for stocks on Thursday, although we saw early selling again, followed by those dip buyers pushing the indices back up by the close. The Dow gained 18-points while the S&P was flat, small caps posted a small gain, and the Transports continue to act well. Basically it was positioning for Friday's jobs report.