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Dow sets another record, short of magical 17,000 with BLS jobs report anxiety

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit another record high on Wednesday, rose 20.17 points or 0.12 percent, to 16,976.24. S&P 500 gained 1.29 points or 0.07 percent, closing at 1,974.61. Both were record closes, but dull record closes again in what has become a routine this year. Investors are waiting for the Dow to pierce through the magic number of 17,000, and the even slightly more difficult climb for the S&P 500 to the magic 2,000, according to a Reuters report.

Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City. Stocks rallied Tuesday as the Dow Jones Industrial rose to a new high, coming close to 17,000.
Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images

It could happen on Thursday when the Department of Labor, through its Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), releases its June job report. Today, the "not-so-official" jobs numbers were released with the ADP National Employment Report®. The news was great, as the ADP reported that private sector employment increased by 281,000 jobs from May to June.

But the "official" and "real" jobs report will come Thursday, when BLS releases its June job report. History shows that the ADP jobs report and BLS jobs reports do not necessarily run parallel. But it is typically close, which means the possibility of a "blowout" jobs number is real. That number would be over 300,000 new jobs in June and it is not out of the realm of possibility.

The ADP report bodes well for the Dow finally surpassing the magic mark of 17,000 today, a mark it has been trying to hit for several weeks now.

Total U.S. nonfarm payroll in the private sector, with a total of 281,000 jobs, was broken down as follows: small business leading the way with 117,000 jobs added; Medium businesses added 115,000 jobs; and large businesses added 49,000 jobs.

The market response to an especially strong BLS jobs report could go either way. One theory is that of course increasing employment means a stronger, more vibrant economy. Many traders might take the opposite view that a strong jobs report could end the fed's easing program.

"The June jobs number is a welcome boost," said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP. "The number of construction jobs added was particularly encouraging, representing the highest total in that industry since February of 2006."

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, "The job market is steadily improving. Job gains are broad based across all industries and company sizes. Judging from the job market, the economic recovery remains fully intact and is gaining momentum."

According to Bloomberg, the median estimate of economists for the BLS jobs report is calling for a 205,000 advance, so anything above that number will be seen as bullish. Anything above that number is bullish.

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