Stocks continue to establish new all-time highs.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 15,467.6, +75.4, +0.4%
- S&P 500: 1,754.6, +10.0, +0.5%
- NASDAQ: 3,929.5, +9.5, +0.2%
And now the top stories:
- After a two-week delay caused by the U.S. government shutdown, we finally got the September jobs report. U.S. companies added just 148,000 nete new payrolls, which was weaker than the 180,000 expected by economists. However, the unemployment rate fell to 7.2% from 7.3% a month ago. The so-called underemployment rate fell to 13.6% from 13.7%. This came as the labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 63.2%.
- Those following the impact of Obamacare followed the part-time jobs stats closely. Under Obamacare, employers with over 50 employees are required to offer health insurance to their full-time staff. Critics have warned that this would force employers to shift from full-time workers to part-time workers. However, the number of part-time jobs actually fell by 594,000 while the number of full-time jobs jumped by 691,000.
- Federal Reserve Chair nominee Janet Yellen is well-known for following long-term unemployment stats. Her concern is that workers unemployed for too long see their professional skills atrophy. The good news was that those unemployed for 27 weeks or more fell to 4.15 million from 4.29 million a month ago.
- Apple (AAPL) unveiled new products today, including the $499 iPad Air and two new iPad Minis. There were no big game-changers. However, the products were mostly highlighted by faster processors and sharp displays. The stock closed down marginally.
- Netflix (NFLX) shares collapsed today, closing down by more than 8% after opening up by over 9%. The company announced quarterly earnings that exceeded expectations. “Hard to find fault, but harder still to justify price,” wrote Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Nat Schindler, Justing Post and Jason Mitchell this morning, describing the company’s valuation as “sky high.”
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