After opening higher in early trading, stocks have retreated back into the red, risking an early end to the recent rally in the market. Nonfarm payrolls for September rose 103,000, according to the U.S. Labor Department, who also revised higher job increases for the two months prior. The U.S. unemployment rate is still at 9.1 percent, so while the report was better than expected, the economy is a long way from recovery. In Europe, rating agency Fitch downgraded long-term debt ratings of Spain and Italy. The announcement of the ratings cut sent the market lower as investors once again focused on the sovereign debt issues plaguing the European Union. Meanwhile, public protests in the U.S. regarding Wall Street and economic inequality continues, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the demonstrations are harming the city’s economy. In commodities, oil is mostly flat though energy stocks are falling today after a week of gains. Gold is down 1 percent.
Major U.S. Stock Indices
DJIA: 11,132.72 (+0.08 percent)
S&P 500: 1,159.19 (-0.50 percent)
NASDAQ: 2,490.50 (-0.65 percent)
Russell 2000: 661.04 (-1.89 percent)
In other news:
- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton on how to fix the economy: Jobs, mortgage relief and a better tax system. [Fortune]
- Despite S&P’s downgrade, investors have fled to U.S. Treasuries as the global economy deteriorated. While this might be great for investors trying to avoid risk, they’re paying a hefty price for it as inflation eats away at any hope for a return. [The Street]
- At least China is doing its part to help the U.S. job market. Higher labor costs in what was once considered the cheapest market in the world have made outsourcing less appealing for American companies. [CNBC]
- What’s next for Apple (AAPL) now that Steve Jobs is gone? [IBD]
- Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger plans to step down in 2015, but will also become chairman next March and hold that post until 2016. [WSJ]
Check back for more news.