Jobs Data, Syria Battle over Market (Bloomberg)
This morning’s discouraging jobs data had investors expecting a longer delay before the Federal Reserve cuts its stimulus, while the ongoing tensions regarding Syria had uncertain investors playing it safe and exiting the market. The result of the clash of these contrasting forces was a very small gain for the day in the S&P 500. “It’s a very skittish stock market,” John Augustine, chief market strategist at Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp, said. “We’re in a period where markets will react quickly to external news from a variety of sources, whether it’s the bond market, the Middle East, or one single economic report.”
Due to concerns of the Syrian situation disrupting supplies of oil from the Middle East, the price of U.S. oil rose to its highest level in two years. In addition, other oil-producing regions, like Venezuela and Sudan, have restricted available supplies of the black liquid, which should lead to a short-lived spike in oil prices.
Falling from yesterday’s seven-week high against the euro, the dollar suffered today in the aftermath of disappointing August jobs data. “Although the unemployment rate was lower, there were negative revisions of 74,000 and that has pushed both U.S. yields and the dollar lower,” said Kiran Kowshik, currency strategist at BNP Paribas, New York. “But those downward revisions come after many months of upward revisions. So overall, I think the trend still shows an improving labor market.”