Jobs report salvages a tough week
A week that saw one of the fiercest sell-offs all year enjoyed a surprise soft landing with a positive, but still mixed, U.S. jobs report Friday. September’s non-farm payroll number was lower than expected, but August’s was revised sharply higher. In America, September’s 3.5% unemployment rate was the lowest since December 1969. The jobs report partially off-set widespread fears of a recession, unleashed by disappointing manufacturing numbers in the States and Europe that began the week. On Friday, the S&P gained the most in seven weeks, but still suffered its third weekly decline. Boosted by stronger-than-expected sales of its latest iPhone, Apple gained yet again, up 2.8% to close $227.01 . In Canada, investors continued to pour into safe havens like utilities with Northland Power spiking 1.59% to $26.12 while its green-energy peer, Algonquin Power, broke all-time highs to reach $18.55.
Lurking in the background amid all this volatility is the unresolved US-China trade war, which took a rest this week as the People’s Republic celebrated its 50th anniversary even as Hong Kong democracy protests turned fatal. Trade negotiations resume next week. Meanwhile, calls grow stronger for the U.S. Fed to cut interest rates yet again to deal with global fears of a slowdown. Volatility will likely continue.