U.S. stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) fluctuated in morning trading as many investors are still just unsure where the economy is heading after some reports.
The Labor Department had some promising news reporting that payrolls fell by 345,000, the lowest decline in the past eight months and much lower than the 520,000 forecast by analysts, reports Shobhana Chandra of Bloomberg. Although these numbers indicate that the labor markets are better than they were, they are still pretty awful.

The total jobless rate ballooned up to 9.4%, putting the total number of jobs lost during this recession well above six million, the highest it has been since 1983, and a good indicator that companies are still reluctant to hire laid-off workers.

On the positive side, this positive job report sent the U.S. dollar to a three week high against the Japanese yen. The PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish (UUP) is up nearly 1.5% in intraday trading.

The Labor Department’s report further supported the fact that the U.S. economy could be in recovery stage, making the near future demand for crude oil a bit higher. This temporarily sent black gold north of $70/barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

  • United States Oil (USO) gained nearly 0.2% in morning trading.