The October jobs report finally bucked the recent disappointing trend, adding 531K new jobs, beating expectations of 450K. Adding to the good news, August and September’s numbers were revised upwards by a total of 235K jobs. Together, the jobs shortfall since COVID began shrunk to 4.2M and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%.
The Fed officially announced its tapering plans this week, which will start this month and cut back asset purchases by $15B per month, which puts it on track to fully wind down its asset purchases by this coming summer. Powell left the door open to slow down, or accelerate, the plan as data warrants and cooled some market expectations of the Fed moving quickly to raise rates soon after tapering ends. The market reacted well to the news with equity markets hitting new all-time highs.
So far in 2021, the S&P 500 has made new all-time highs 64 times, the most in a single year since 1995, which had 77. We’ll see what the next two months bring.