Futures popped 8 points as the nonfarm payroll report, with a loss of 247,000 jobs, was better than even the consensus of a loss of 275,000. It was the best monthly number since August 2008.
We have gone from 700,000 jobs lost a month to a little more than 200,000 jobs lost, and bulls can now argue that we have a good chance to get positive job growth some time later this year.
The average work week improved, to 33.1 hours from 33.0, and prior month revisions moved in the right direction.
1) The dollar spiked on the nonfarm payroll news, and commodities have also risen.
2) Markets will try to hold on to their 4th straight week of gains (Dow, S&P up 1 percent).
3) The Shanghai Index dropped nearly 3 percent on concerns China might try to rein in the recent stock market rally. This is now a recurring theme, coming and going every few weeks.
Also, the President of China Construction Bank said they will cut lending because of concerns that some industries were expanding too rapidly.
4) AIG up 17 percent pre-open. They reported their first quarterly profit since 2007: $2.57 vs. $1.67 consensus (the consensus estimate has little value since there are only 3 analysts covering the stock).
More importantly, AIG used the magic, somewhat devalued word: stabilized. Some businesses stabilized "and the company's results reflected positive valuation changes." Simply put, the value of their assets showed some improvement, which was a key point of speculation in the past several days and a factor in the short-squeeze that occurred on Wednesday and Thursday.
They are continuing to hold discussions with potential buyers of parts of the business, saying they have made "significant progress" on their disposition plans.
5) CBS surges 10 percent pre-open after beating Q2 earnings estimates. Revenues fell 11 percent, essentially inline with estimates, but weighed down by the weak advertising environment. TV ad sales dropped 13 percent.
But the tide may be turning as CBS CEO Les Moonves is optimistic that "the worst is behind" as some advertisers are slowly returning. As a result, he anticipates a "considerably stronger" second half for the company.
6) Beazer Homes jumps 10 percent after reporting a narrower-than-expected Q3 loss. Revenues were half of last year's levels, but still managed to beat estimates as lower mortgage rates and a federal tax credit for first time home owners helped spur a 36 percent sequential rise in net new home orders.
7) Continental Airlines down 8 percent after announcing a secondary offering. The airline will sell 14.4 million shares, an increase of nearly 12 percent to the current number of shares outstanding
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