The Federal Reserve Bank could be raising interest rates sooner than you think. Around 8:30am Friday morning The Fed’s Jobs Report was released, and the news was mixed. This report has been touted as a key piece of data The Fed will use in deciding whether or not to raise interest rates later this month.
The report stated 173,000 jobs were created, which is almost 50,000 less than the 220,000 that was expected. In addition, hourly wages rose .3 percent bringing them to a gain of 2.2 percent. Unfortunately that increase is well below the 3.5% The Fed would like to see.
Unemployment did drop to 5.1%, but the mixed reviews are enough to increase speculation The Fed will raise interest rates, and immediately tank our markets. The markets were up 1% as of 11 AM Thursday but lost those gains by the end of the day. Now, at Friday’s end, all three major indices are in the red: The Dow by 1.66%, Nasdaq by 1.05% and S&P by 1.53%.
That’s not the only negative news to surface on Friday, as oil field service company Baker Hughes reported U.S. energy firms cut 13 oil rigs, bringing the number of rigs down to 662 as compared to 1,584 a year ago. Oil was over 48 dollars a barrel yesterday and lost 1.5% – down to $46.05 per barrel.
Oil’s drop was also fueled by The European Central Bank’s statement that China’s troubles would drag them into deflation. Also, Japan’s Nikkei 225, London’s FTSE 100, and Germany’s DAX all lost over 2% today, reinforcing that we truly live in a world economy.
Here are the numbers on Wall Street as of 1:30 PM Friday:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,102.38 (-272.38)
NASDAQ: 4,683.92 (-49.58)
S&P 500: 1921.22 (-26.80)