Futures were up sharply again to begin the day but a confusing jobs report stunted that and stocks instead opened near flat. Most of the day was spent near unchanged or in the red but a sharp uptick of buying in the last hour created positive gains with the S&P 500 up 0.23% and the NASDAQ 0.44%. As to the employment data job gains came in far below expectations but many blamed the weather; meanwhile the unemployment rate dropped drastically but much of this seems to be Americans dropping out of the work force as they have been doing since the recession ended. There could be some serious revisions to this number in the next few months when it is all said and done.
Stocks gapped up at the open and held gains all session as the holiday animal spirits + news Sunday that Apple finalized a deal with China Mobile to start selling iPhone 5s in the country by mid January. The Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 0.5 percent after advancing by a revised 0.4 percent in October. It was the seventh straight month of increases and matched economists' expectations. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index on consumer sentiment came in at 82.5, unchanged from November.
Stocks closed Tuesday with losses, putting together a rare 3 day losing streak; only the second since September. The S&P 500 fell 0.32% and the NASDAQ 0.2%. So while we are in day 3 of a pullback, this is very mild. There was a break in economic news for the day but it gets hot and heavy the rest of the week.
The S&P 500 closed below its 10 day moving average for the second time early October - that shows you how strong this trend has been. The only other time was the outside reversal day marked in yellow; that was immediately followed by a sharp rally. The NASDAQ continues to pull back from the top of the year long channel it has been in; it hit the top of it Friday.
A late day selloff knocked the S&P 500 back to near break even but after lagging for a few weeks money has rotated back into tech stocks and small caps. This is a hallmark sign of a major bull market - constant rotation. The S&P 500 gained 0.01% and the NASDAQ 0.58%; for those who like round numbers the NASDAQ broke back over 4000 for the first time in 13 years. A good report on building permits - at a 5 year high - helped lift the housing sector out of recent doldrums. The Commerce Department said building permits jumped 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.03 million units. That was the highest rate since June 2008. Economists had expected building permits at a 930,000-unit rate in October. Permits increased 5.2 percent in September. August's permits were revised to a 926,000-unit pace from the previously reported 918,000 units. Permits lead housing starts by at least a month.