July 5 - Wall Street recovered from a roller coaster ride as investors ultimately viewed stronger-than-expected jobs data as a good thing. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Finally - good news is good news again on Wall Street. After a struggle made worse by holiday-thinned trading desks, stocks closed at their best levels of the day - up roughly 1 percent across the board. That brought gains for the week to 1.5 percent for the Dow and 2.2 percent for the Nasdaq. So what was the good news? U.S. employers added 195,000 jobs in June, much more than expected. Plus, job growth in previous months were revised higher. And the unemployment rate held steady at 7.6 percent even though more Americans came back to the job market. Alan Kreuger is chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors. SOUNDBITE: ALAN KREUGER, CHAIRMAN, WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISORS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The construction industry, which was hit awfully hard, is finally turning a corner, on the other hand, state and local governments have still been struggling. We did some signs in today's report that the industries that rely on discretionary spending, like restaurants and bars, or arts and entertainment, recreation, they've been growing more strongly." But stocks were volatile on worry the positive jobs data will make the Fed ease up on its monthly $85 billion in bond buying. Gold prices tumbled and the dollar gained strength. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note touched above 2.7 percent, the highest in nearly two years and up more than a percentage point from early May. With rates so high, investors wonder how deep will housing be hurt if mortgage borrowing falls further? Some of the biggest losers on the NYSE where home builders MDC Holdings, Ryland, and Lennar. But on the flip side investors hope a stronger economy will mean more lending and more money in bank coffers. Financial stocks like American Express, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America were market leaders. With jobs data behind, what's next? Julia Coronado of BNP Paribas: SOUNDBITE: JULIA CORONADO, CHIEF U.S. ECONOMIST, BNP PARIBAS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We are coming up on earnings season, you know, what are companies going to tell us? Are they going to say that things are looking up, or are they going to say that, you know, they're kind of treading water? I think that's going to matter a lot for setting tone for the stock market." As for stock markets across Europe, they closed down sharply before the bounce-back on Wall Street.