"The market was very resilient considering how bad the payrolls data were," Gwon says. Bulls were primed for a strong Friday report, especially in light of the robust ADP private payrolls report released earlier in the week, says Gwon. But November's numbers were a raspberry.
"Economists were looking for anywhere from 100,000 to 170,000 new jobs," Gwon says. "Whisper numbers were as high as 200,000. Instead, we added just 39,000 to payrolls last month."
Yet after spending most of the session in negative territory, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) gained 18 to close at 11,382. The broader S&P 500 ($INX) likewise turned positive late in the day, tacking on 3 points to close 1,225. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) closed up 12 points at 2,591.
The markets' remarkably muted reaction to the jobs report may be attributable its almost cockeyed way of discerning a silver lining in such things, Gwon says. Traders take the dismal jobs data as something that bolsters the Federal Reserve's case for QE2 -- which has been very bullish for stocks and commodities. How much longer, Gwon asks, before the lousy labor market forced the Fed to start thinking about QE3?