ETFs are flat on Friday after the government reported the addition of 192,000 jobs in February and a decline in the unemployment rate to 8.9%, an almost two-year low.
- Employers hired more workers in February than in any month since May last year and the unemployment rate fell to a near two-year low, the strongest sign yet the recovery has become self-sustaining. Nonfarm payrolls increased 192,000, the Labor Department said on Friday, in line with expectations. Data for December and January was revised to show 58,000 more jobs created than previously estimated. The unemployment rate dipped to 8.9%, the lowest since April 2009, from 9% in January as more people reported finding work. The Direxion Daily 20+ Year Treasury Bull 3x Shares ETF (NYSEArca: TMF) is down more than 1% this morning.
- Businesses ordered more manufactured goods from U.S. factories in January, but excluding a big surge in demand for airplanes, the rise in demand was the smallest in three months. The Commerce Department says that excluding the volatile transportation category, orders rose 0.7% in January, the weakest showing since October. Helped by the surge in demand for commercial aircraft, total business orders rose 3.1% in January, the biggest gain in more than four years. The Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLI) is flat in early trading.
- Oil futures rose Friday amid ongoing worries that turmoil in Libya could disrupt supplies, with prices resuming an upward trend seen for most of the week and cementing gains atop the $100-a-barrel level. Oil held gains of more than 1% after the U.S. government reported a smaller-than-expected number of new jobs in January. Analysts said the ongoing unrest and the possibility of an escalation in violence will likely place a floor under oil futures for the time being. The ProShares Ultra DJ-UBS Crude Oil ETF (NYSEArca: UCO) surged 3.5% early Friday.
- Asian stock markets posted solid gains Friday, cheering an overnight charge on Wall Street, and on optimism over U.S. jobs data due later in the day, though concerns over high crude-oil prices remained firmly in place. South Korean stocks added to Thursday’s significant gains as foreign investors remained buyers, with gains led by construction shares, which had posted heavy losses in the wake of the Libyan turmoil. Chinese banks were mostly higher on expectations they will report strong full-year 2010 earnings. The iShares S&P Asia 50 Index (NYSEArca: AIA) is up slightly in early trading.
Gregory A. Clay contributed to this article.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.