At 94,000 jobs, the payroll report came in near expectations. This is good for equities; as it leaves rate cuts on the table but still indicate job growth is well below where it was a year or so ago. Low growth, not a recession (yet), is about as good as we can expect right now for equities.
Still, the cynics are already screaming: "lemee get this straight, we rally on Wednesday because the ADP says the jobs number is going to be above expectations, and now we rally on Friday because the jobs report is in-line?"
Well, uh, yes. Fact is, there is always more than just the data in play here. The markets have been dramatically oversold in financials, traders have built up huge cash positions, and the Bush subprime plandoes reduce the possibility of a catastrophic shutdown in the mortgage business (but there are still plenty of problems).
And--if none of that impresses you--let's just be downright cynical and admit that it is the time of year when the long-only guys want to keep the tape together.
Still, there's considerable debate about just how good the Bush plan is for mortgage lenders. No one doubts it is a positive short-term, however when it helps them long term is very much open to debate. Peter Boockvar at Miller Tabak wrote to say, "private mortgage lending has just gotten less profitable."
National Semi down fractionally after guiding sales lower for the third quarter. Q3 sales to $474.1-$494 million, below Reuters consensus $495.5 million.
Temple-Inland announces special $10.25/sh cash dividend payable to holders of record on December 12.)
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