Daily Data Flow: Jobs Report Boosts Stocks; Post Office Needs New Bailout; Oil Futures Gain

Daily Data Flow

S&P 500 Rises to Highest Level Since 2007 on Jobs Report (Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to the highest level since December 2007, after data showed employers added workers in December at about the same pace as the prior month. “It’s not an incredibly strongly labor market but it’s mending and it’s going to continue to take time,” Greg Woodard, a strategist at Manning & Napier in Fairport, NY, said. “The market realized there’s some outside help. The Fed continues to provide a lot of liquidity. We got some resolution on a lot of uncertainty, although we pushed that uncertainty two months down the road.”

Ailing Post Office Looks to New Congress for Deliverance (CNBC)
The former occupants of Capitol Hill didn’t deliver, so the cash-strapped Postal Service, which says it loses $25 million every day, now turns to the newly sworn-in Congress for help in avoiding its own “fiscal cliff.” As more Americans communicate by email, the mail carrier lost almost $16 billion in the past year, ran into its legal borrowing limit and defaulted twice on required payments to the federal government. “It’s important that they prioritize postal service legislation,” said Art Sackler, head of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, which represents mailers. “We don’t want to have it get lost again in the big shuffle.”

Oil Futures End above $93, Gain for the Week (MarketWatch)
Oil futures finished with a slight gain Friday, finding support from a hefty drop in last week’s U.S. crude supplies, but also pressured by a stronger dollar, as traders weighed concern about a potential end to the Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus this year. “Crude has mustered a minor gain as the non-farm payroll report helped to pare strength seen in the U.S. dollar,” said Matt Smith, commodity analyst at Schneider Electric in Louisville, Ky. And “a huge draw in the oil inventory report — although due to end-of-year tax considerations — helped to bring oil prices back into minorly positive territory.”

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The December jobs report showed the economy added 155,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.8%. According to various consensus estimates, economists were expecting between 150,000 to 160,000 jobs added and a 7.7% unemployment rate.

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