The Monday Moneybeat

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming next on The World and Everything in It, the Monday Moneybeat.

NICK EICHER, HOST: American employers added 155,000 new jobs in November. That makes 98 months in a row for jobs growth. It’s a record.

The unemployment rate remained at a 50-year low 3.7 percent. There are 7 million job openings and fewer than 6 million people classified as unemployed.

So, not surprisingly, average hourly wages went up in November, too, rising 3.1 percent. That’s only the second time wages have risen that high since the recession of 2008.

That’s the good news. Here’s the bad.

The Friday jobs report from the Labor Department did not match expectations, and it’s considerably lower than the 200,000 average jobs added per month this year.

Wall Street reacted with another day of sell-offs, and that capped the worst week for stocks since March.

REICHARD: Investors saw the relatively weak jobs report as another piece of evidence that the economy may be headed for a slowdown.

Add that to negative signs on the global economy: uncertainty over the effect of the U.K. leaving the European Union—Brexit—as well as China’s economic slowdown. Growth in Chinese exports plummeted in November, according to a government report.

On the New York Stock Exchange, the story was volatility.

Stocks surged Monday after President Trump announced a 90-day trade truce with China. But those gains evaporated the next day on doubts about whether Beijing and Washington could or would resolve their differences by the end of February.

Stocks tumbled even further when at the behest of the United States, Canadian officials arrested a top executive in a Chinese high-tech company. U.S. officials plan to extradite the executive on charges she helped the company get around American sanctions on Iran. Stocks recovered on news that the Federal Reserve is going to hold off on planned interest rate increases next year.

EICHER: But by Friday, the rout was on. That jobs report sent stocks south. For the week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 4.6 percent, almost completely erasing its gain from last week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 4.5 percent, and turned both major indexes negative for the year.

The Nasdaq is still positive, but last week it lost 5 percent of its value.

And that’s today’s Monday Moneybeat.

(AP Photo/Annie Rice) In this June 20, 2018, file photo people attend a job fair in Chicago. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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