John Hancock: Weekly Market Recap Week Ended November 6th
The U.S. labor market continues to recover from spring’s surge in unemployment, as 638,000 jobs were added in October, topping most economists’ estimates. In addition, the unemployment rate fell to 6.9% from 7.9% in September, and the labor force participation rate climbed after declining in the previous month.
With the busiest week of earnings season now behind and nearly 90% of S&P 500 companies having released their results, the number of firms that had beaten expectations remained at or near a record level as of Friday, according to FactSet. However, it will be the sixth time in the past seven quarters in which earnings have declined compared with the same period a year earlier.
Fed holds steady
As expected, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board kept interest rates unchanged, and it made few edits to a statement assessing the state of the economy. Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the Fed’s willingness to provide additional policy support and urged that lawmakers provide more fiscal stimulus.
It was a volatile week for U.S. Treasury bonds, as the yield of the 10-year note closed on Tuesday at the 0.90% level for the first time since June, only to tumble to 0.78% on Wednesday. By the end of the week, the yield crept back up above the 0.80% level.