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Here's what happens when the jobs report surprises

Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., we get nonfarm payroll reports for November. Consensus is for a gain of 228,000 jobs.

Thanks to our new partners at Kensho, we can take a look at what will happen if the jobs report is better, or worse, than expectations.

Let's say that the jobs report comes in better, by 20,000 jobs or more. What happens to the S&P 500 on that day, and what happens to other stock sub-sectors?

In the past 10 years, the biggest gainers are:

  1. Industrials trade positive 71% of the time for an average gain of 0.7%
  2. Materials trade positive 68% of the time for an average gain of 0.4%
  3. The S&P 500 itself trades positive 65% of the time for an average gain of 0.3%

The worst performer are Gold Miners (GDX) which trade positive positive only 37% of the time, down an average of 0.8%.

The opposite is somewhat true when the jobs report underperforms by worse than 20,000 jobs.

There is significant outperformance from the Gold Miners (GDX), which trend up 55 percent of the time for an average gain of 0.4 percent. The S&P 500 trades down 0.1 percent on average.

Bottom line—when the jobs report surprises to the upside, the S&P trades up two-thirds of the time, with growth sectors like Industrials outperforming. When jobs miss, gold does well.

Disclosure: CNBC's parent, NBCUniversal, is a minority investor in Kensho.

  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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