Friday's jobs report, and the subsequent market reaction, is providing evidence that at least to some extent bad news is good news again.
The government's nonfarm payrolls report showed growth of 155,000, falling below Dow Jones estimates of 198,000. Though that's still a pretty healthy level of gains this late into an economic expansion, it could be enough to make the Federal Reserve hesitate about its plans to keep raising interest rates.
For the market, that's very good news. Stock futures turned positive after the report and were trading higher for most of the morning Friday before a drop in technology stocks knocked down the major indexes.
"It's not too hot, not too cold, just right for the Fed," said Satyam Panday, U.S. senior economist at S&P Global.
The reaction hearkened back to the early days of the recovery when investors hoped the Fed would keep conditions loose for as long as possible and often quietly cheered bad economic news.
"Today's jobs report does a good job signaling an economy that's still growing, yet doesn't signal any pressure for the Fed to raise rates aggressively for next year," Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors, said in an interview. "I think the market is applauding the report."