What Investors Need to Know About the Latest Jobs Report

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What's happening in the headlines can affect you as an investor. Here's what's going on, what you need to know, and what you should do.

The not-so-cold, hard facts
A new report from Automatic Data Processing (NAS: ADP) shows that U.S. private employers added more jobs than expected in October and that more were added in September than was originally reported.

Now for some context
Specifically, the ADP National Employment Report showed today that the private sector added 110,000 jobs last month, topping economists' expectations of a 101,000 jobs gain. The ADP report also made a correction to September's report, increasing the gains to 116,000 from the previously reported 91,000.

The ADP figures come ahead of the government's comprehensive labor market report, which will be released Friday and includes both public and private sector employment. That report is expected to show a rise in overall nonfarm payrolls of 95,000 last month and a rise in private payrolls of 120,000.

What it all means for you
Though the ADP figures aren't always accurate in predicting the outcome of the government report, this good bit of economic news, coming on the heels of better-than-expected, third-quarter GDP growth, means the U.S. economy might not be heading into another recession.

Partially as result of this report, all of the major indexes were up in early trading today:

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) rose 196 points, or 1.7%, to 11,856.
  • The S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) rose 22 points, or 1.8%, to 1,240.
  • The Nasdaq Composite (INDEX: ^IXIC) gained 35, or 1.3%, to 2,642.

Stronger corporate earnings from MasterCard (NYS: MA) and JDS Uniphase (NAS: JDSU) also helped pushed stock indexes higher.

After two days of market volatility due to renewed crisis in the eurozone, the day is starting out well, but investors are still jittery. Fools like you, however, are in it for the long term. So as long as the companies you own have sound fundamentals, keep an eye on the big picture and hang on for what will likely continue to be a bumpy ride.

Keep track of what's happening with the stocks and the major indices mentioned here by adding them to My Watchlist, a free service of The Motley Fool that lets you easily keep up with everything on your investing radar.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor and newshound John Grgurich loves his Reuters feed so much he wants to marry it, but he owns no shares of any of the companies mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of MasterCard. The Motley Fool has sold shares of SPDR S&P 500 short. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Automatic Data Processing. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a scintillating disclosure policy.

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