The US economy adds far more jobs than expected

The Nonfarm payrolls increased by 216,000 jobs in December

By Nadia Elbilassy | @Nadia Elbilassy | 5 January 2024

Market close
  • After the bell, the Dow hovered near 37,370, and the S&P at 4,680

  • WTI rose near $73, Brent near $78 and interest rate cut progress continued to be monitored for potential impact on oil demand.

  • The US unemployment rate steadied at 3.7% below market expectations of 3.8%

On the Market Watch!


The US economy added 216K jobs in December, compared to 173K jobs in November, while the unemployment rate remained stable as the previous reading of 3.7%, while annual wage rates recorded an increase of 4.1%, up from 4%.

Earlier this week, data revealed that hiring by private employers in December significantly exceeded expectations. Which plays a key role in the Feds action plan for interest rate cuts and will require markets to reprice expectations.

At the US opening, the Dow hovered near 37,370 retreating slightly, While the S&P was pinned near 4,680, moves are expected to be somewhat volatile throughout the first NFP Friday of the year.

Oil prices

Oil prices are poised to conclude the first week of the year with approximately a 1% increase, driven by persistent concerns over Houthis in Yemen targeting shipping in the Red Sea.

Prices continued rising on Friday in response to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's impending visit to the Middle East. The visit is aimed at preventing the Middle East conflict from escalating further.

WTI hovered near $73 while Brent was near $78. Investors were also eyeing interest rate cut progress as lower interest rates, which can stimulate economic growth, were seen as a factor that could lead to increased oil demand.