October 7th, 2010
10:45 PM ET

Investors gear up for jobs report

A look at the day's business news headlines:

Stocks sag ahead of monthly jobs report

Stocks finished mixed after a sluggish session Thursday afternoon, as cautious investors paused and geared up for the monthly jobs report due Friday.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) closed down 19 points, or 0.2 percent. The blue chip index started off the day with a pop and was less than 2 points shy of the 11,000 mark, a level it hasn't traded at since May. But the Dow drifted as the session wore on and sank almost 75 points before recovering.

The S&P 500 (SPX) lost 2 points, or 0.2 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq (COMP) added 3 points, or 0.1 percent.

Stocks surged earlier this week, with all three major indexes hitting 5-month highs. But investors have had trouble keeping up that momentum, as reports showed continued weakness in the labor market.

Bonds mixed as investors await jobs report

Yields of shorter-dated Treasurys fell Thursday as investors turned to the safety of government debt ahead of the monthly payrolls data.

A report Thursday showed new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level in almost three months. But a separate report showed that though the number of job openings increased slightly in August, there was no real improvement of the odds that unemployed workers will find a job.

The previous session also brought two disappointing jobs reports. Private sector employers cut 39,000 jobs in September, according to Automatic Data Processing. Additionally, Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.'s report showed employers planned on cutting another 37,151 employees in September.

The mixed jobs data made investors cautious ahead of Friday's monthly government report on payrolls and the unemployment rate. The labor market has been lagging, and it's difficult for the overall economy to bounce back when Americans are struggling to find jobs.

– CNNMoney.com reporters Julianne Pepitone and Ben Rooney contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Economy
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. phil

    Since about 50% of US workers are government employees, and about 1/3 of the Dow is based on how 3 corporations are doing (IBM, Cat, McDonalds), the "jobs report" carries less weight than it used to. Even when the economy is flourishing, the average investor loses money. Why? Because the stock-market is fixed. Just as fixed as pro sports.

    October 8, 2010 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jim Brieske

    phil. I agree. Don't forget the most important one which was proved yesterday when it was made public that one million jobs lost were not included in the past 12 months unemployment rate number. President Obama lied about their being an actual higher number to make himself look more economically qualified to be president.
    I think the actual number is over 10%. Probably 10.5% and should be adjusting from that number, not 9.6%. He is a better liar than people think. One admits to something bad to hide something worse.
    He's gotta be good at something. Maybe he has also decided to be more like his idol, honest Abe Lincoln. Admit to one lie every day while in office.
    He will need a second term to succeed. Quite clever actually.
    jim

    October 8, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • KeithTexas

      The actual number collecting benefits is 10.5% but the actual number unemployed is 22% with another 8.5% underemployed (less than 40 hours per week). Part of the discrepancy is that none of the unemployed that are receiving extended benefits are included in the numbers.

      It really doesn't take a lot of investigation to come up with the number for yourself. Just check state by state and you will get similar numbers to what I have given.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. phil

    The poor "jiobs report" came out today, yet the stock market soared. The market is fixed, and will remain so until the Federal Reserve is audited

    October 9, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |