- Reuters / Brendan McDermid
A wild September jobs report showing that US payrolls contracted for the first time since 2010, was largely met with a shrug by investors. The S&P 500 slid just 0.2% in early trading – a sign that investors were already taking into account the one-time effect of the two tragic hurricanes that slammed Texas and Florida in September.
The report also showed that hourly wages rose and the unemployment rate fell.
Digging deeper, the spike in hourly wages can be read as a signal inflation is picking up, which may embolden the Federal Reserve to continue its monetary tightening process – something that’s historically been viewed as a negative for stocks because how attractive higher rates would make bonds by comparison.
The hourly wage data was also responsible for some turbulent trading in the US dollar, which spiked immediately after the release, before paring some of those gains. It’s now up roughly 0.3%, sitting near its highest level in 11 weeks.
Elsewhere in markets, the 10-year Treasury yield increased five basis points to its highest level since May.
Investors will now scour the jobs report for additional nuggets as they try to predict the next step for the Fed, which is under great scrutiny in the market right now as it prepares to raise benchmark interest rates and unwind its massive balance sheet.
The market may get a better look at the economy – and a more detailed take on how the hurricanes affected individual regions – when state-by-state data is released on October 20.