The US employment situation
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment report released on Friday, September 4, 2015, received mixed responses at the stock market. According to the report, 173,000 jobs were added in the month of August—a number significantly smaller than the anticipated 220,000.
The US unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low of 5.1% in August from 5.3%. This figure is indeed a strong indicator for the US economy, although it wasn’t strong enough to convince the Fed to raise the key rate. The report presents equal possibilities for the Fed to raise rates or to refrain from a rate hike.
As a result of these August employment figures—numbers that may have made the Fed indecisive—the US stock market has found itself in a state of bewilderment. Investors seemed skeptical, and the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) fell by 1.51% on September 4, 2015.
The graph below shows SPY’s price movement of over the past week.
Key SPY players on September 4
The top three players in the SPY ETF on September 4 were Motorola Solutions (MSI), followed by Noble Energy (NBL) and Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR), whose stocks returned 1.84%, 1.72%, and 1.65%, respectively.
The stock research analysts at Wunderlich Securities rated Noble stock as a “Buy.” The stock received 17 similar “buy” recommendations and 15 “hold” recommendations, while it only received one “sell” recommendation. Due to these ratings, Noble’s stock rose on September 4.
In the next part of this series, we’ll look at the component sector performances of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).