Stocks were down big on Monday and Tuesday. With losses of more than 2.0%, the S&P was trading at 1-month lows on Tuesday.
But stocks made a bit of a comeback on Wednesday and Thursday. And then on Friday, the major indices rocketed higher a after a strong Jobs Report.
With Friday’s gains, the DOW jumped more than 300 points. And the S&P managed to erase losses from earlier in the week, closing just 0.3% away from record highs.
Here’s what traders are focused on:
JOBS – An impressive Jobs Report helped stocks bounced back last week. There were 266,000 jobs added in November (vs. a 181,000 forecast). It was the biggest gain in 10 months. The Unemployment Rate fell to 3.5% (3.6% was expected) and average hourly earnings increased 0.2%.
TRADE – Trade was a big factor in last week’s roller-coaster ride. At the beginning of the week, there was news that China wasn’t interested in a deal unless tariffs were rolled back. Then President Trump said he wasn’t worried about a trade deal until after the election. But on Thursday, the President said we were closer to a deal. And on Friday, in a positive gesture towards China, the U.S. canceled import tariffs on American pork and soybeans shipments.
Here’s where the major indices ended the week:
The S&P finished with a 0.2% gain. Up 5 points, the S&P ended at 3,146.
The DOW ended lower by 0.1%. Dropping 36 points, the DOW closed at 28,015.
The NASDAQ was down 0.1%. With a 9 point loss, the NASDAQ finished at 8,657.
Crude Oil (CL) bounced back after last week’s post-holiday slide. Up 6.7%, CL ended the day at $59.15 a barrel with its best week since June.
3M (MMM) was the leader in the DOW on Friday after reports that the company was looking to sell its drug delivery systems business. The stock finished the day with a 4.3% gain. And Apple (AAPL), JP Morgan Chase (JPM) and Nike (NKE) looked good with new records on gains ranging from 1.3 – 1.9%.
Ulta (Beauty (ULTA) looked pretty on Friday, with the stock jumping 11.1% on better than expected earnings.
This week traders will continue to monitor trade developments. The big deadline right now is December 15th. As of now, the U.S. plans on increasing tariffs on another $156 billion in Chinese goods on the 15th.
We’ll also get to hear from the Fed this week. The Fed will hold its 2-day Fed Meeting, which wraps up on Wednesday with the FOMC Statement and FOMC Press Conference.