Exxon Pushes the S&P 500 Higher


Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The S&P 500 is up today following a weaker-than-expected jobs report that is seen as a sign that the Federal Reserve will not begin to draw down its asset purchases at its next meeting. U.S. oil prices are down on the jobs report, but ExxonMobil is up as international oil prices remain unchanged. As of 1:40 p.m. EDT, the S&P 500 is up 0.48% to 1,753, while the largest exchange-traded fund tracking the S&P 500, the SPDR S&P 500 , is up 0.5%.

There were two U.S. economic releases today.





Nonfarm payrolls




Unemployment rate




Construction spending




The one to pay attention to is the latest jobs report. The economy added just 148,000 jobs in September, down from August's 193,000 and below analyst expectations of 185,000. Still, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.2% for the month.

US Change in Nonfarm Payrolls Chart
US Change in Nonfarm Payrolls Chart

US Change in Nonfarm Payrolls data by YCharts.

The weak jobs report is pushing the market up today, as investors believe it means the Federal Reserve is less likely to taper asset purchases when it meets again later this month. While the stock market is up, U.S. oil prices are down on the news, as the weak jobs report likely means the economy was worse than expected in September. West Texas Intermediate crude is down 1.1% to $98.11, while Brent crude is basically unchanged at $109.73. Oil stocks are up slightly on the news, with ExxonMobil, the second-largest stock in the S&P 500, rising 0.4% and Chevron up 0.3%.

While U.S. oil prices are being weighed down by new supplies and falling demand at home, international oil prices remain high

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Dan Dzombak can be found on Twitter @DanDzombak or on his Facebook page, DanDzombak. He has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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 disclosure policy.

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