Market Report: Stocks Close Up Despite Poor Jobs Report

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COLUMBIA- It was a volatile week of trading in the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to end a four-week losing streak as it finished up 112 points to close at 14,992, up .76 percent. Meanwhile, the NASDAQ closed up 70 points to 3,660.01, a 1.95 percent gain for the week, and the S&P 500 closed up 22 points to 1655.17 on this Labor Day-shortened week to end up 1.36 percent.

The big national news pushing the market on Friday was the new jobs report.

169,000 jobs were added to the economy last month, but that was fewer than forecast, and the numbers for June and July were revised downward. The unemployment rate moved down from 7.4 percent to 7.3, but that's because people are simply giving up on finding a job.

The percent of working age people in the labor force, also called the participation rate, decreased to 63.2 percent, the lowest since August 1978.

It wasn't all doom and gloom this week, though. Eight times a year, each Federal Reserve Bank publishes a summary of the current economic conditions in its district, and there were two big notes out of the Eighth District, which includes Columbia. According to the report, 75 percent of car dealers surveyed in the Eighth District saw increases in sales compared to last year.

Home sales are up as well.

July 2013 year-to-date home sales were up nine percent in St. Louis compared to last year, while numbers from the Columbia Board of Realtors showed July single-family home sales are up 43 percent compared to 2012.

These mixed numbers have only added more confusion to when the Federal Reserve will begin tapering off its monthly buying of bonds.

The continuing conflict in Syria drove oil prices up two percent this week to $110.53/barrel, which could mean higher gas prices. Syria is going to be the main thing to watch this week with a Wednesday vote from the Senate. Other notable events are the initial jobless claims on Thursday as employment continues to be the focal point for the economy. Then Friday, Consumer Sentiment, which is a general guide of what consumers think about the economy and what retail sales are like in the US.

 

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