Stocks futures were higher ahead of the monthly jobs report and were solidified after the report showed the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since July 2008. The futures action led to a higher open and the averages immediately gained momentum, pushing the Dow to another triple digit move. The averages have moved in a narrow range since, though each remains up more than 1.0% for the session.
In the U.S., the number of non-farm jobs rose in September by 248K, versus expectations for an increase of 215K. The unemployment rate fell to 5.9% from last month’s 6.1% level. The trade deficit narrowed slightly to $40.1B in August from a revised $40.3B deficit in July. Markit’s final reading of its services sector PMI for September was bumped up to 58.9 from its flash reading of 58.5, though this was down from August’s final reading of 59.5. The Institute for Supply Management’s services composite PMI fell 1 point to 58.6 in September, versus an expected 58.5 reading.