Stocks rally on slower wage growth but are ignoring other message in jobs data
The December jobs report shows the economy is still adding jobs at a strong rate, but investors focused on the fact that wage growth is slowing, suggesting inflation may be ebbing.
Stocks rallied after the 8:30 a.m. ET employment report showed 223,000 jobs were created in December. Average hourly wages grew at an annual pace of 4.6%, less than the 5% expected by economists.
“The big move was the fact that average hourly earnings came in lower than expected. That suggests that investors are focused intently on inflation, and whether that inflation is moving toward the Fed’s target,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.
But he also cautioned that the data could be double-edged, since it suggests the economy and employment are still strong. That could help keep inflation elevated and keep the Fed hiking more than…