Latest Market Updates
The U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February; well above the 140,000 positions analysts had previously projected. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate rose from 6.6% to 6.7%, as more people entered the labor force but couldn’t find jobs.
Revisions to prior reports added a total of 25,000 jobs to overall payrolls from the previous two months.
February’s dramatic improvement in employment trends caught traders by surprise, as unusually harsh winter weather has weighed heavily on economic data since the beginning of the year.
“It’s a pretty good report, given the weather,” Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh told Bloomberg. “You had a pretty good rise in average hourly earnings, you had some good gains in jobs in a couple of different sectors.”
Hiring at professional and business services increased by the most in a year, while payrolls also rebounded in education and health services, according to the report. State and local government agencies, factories, and construction firms also showed substantial increases last month.
A separate report Friday showed the U.S. trade deficit was little changed in January as exports and imports grew, an encouraging sign that global economic growth is improving, said analysts.
Gold prices plunged as equities climbed in the wake of this morning’s reports, with the S&P 500 edging up to a record high once again.
Gold’s losses were tempered, however, amid ongoing geopolitical risk in Ukraine. The yellow metal rallied to a four-month high of $1,354 an ounce earlier this week following an escalation in tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking Crimea peninsula.
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Market Updates Archive
This week on The Vault, Brian explains why this week's gold rally is NOT what it seems - especially as it relates to geopolitical uncertainty in Ukraine. Mike Getlin, CEO of Merit Gold gives us his analysis of current market conditions, explains why develop...watch more
Gold Standard with Brian Baker
In a preview of Friday's all-new edition of the Vault, Mike Getlin, CEO of Merit Gold talks about this week's gold market and why geopolitical instability is generally so bullish for precious metals.watch more
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