Week Ahead: Economists Look To May Retail Sales After Surprising US Jobs Report

Category: Markets / Finance / Jun 07, 2013 6:19PM EDT

American employers added more jobs in the previous month than anticipated. The May jobs report was slightly stronger than investors had expected, as the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in May, the Labor Department reported Friday. The unemployment rate ticked higher to 7.6 percent. 

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI surged 207.50 points, or 1.38 percent, to close at 15,248.12. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX advanced 20.82 points, or 1.28 percent, to 1,643.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC climbed 45.16 points, or 1.32 percent, to end at 3,469.22.

Revisions to March and April figures show that the economy added 12,000 fewer jobs than originally reported during those months. The labor force participation rate was little changed at 63.4 percent.

Although the jobs number is an improvement over April, it does little to offer much incentive for the Federal Reserve to scale back its $85 billion a month in bond purchases. Markets have been volatile in the past two weeks on heightened speculation that the Fed could slow its purchases later this year. 

On the economic calendar for next week, economists are eyeing Thursday’s retail sales data for May. Economists polled by MarketWatch forecast May retail sales to edge up 0.4 percent from 0.1 percent in April.  

U.S. retail sales unexpectedly rose in April after a disappointing report for March, as consumers boosted purchases of a wide range of retail goods from automobiles to building materials. The Commerce Department said last month retail sales edged up 0.1 percent in April after a revised 0.5 percent decline in March. Economists polled by Thompson Reuters had expected retail sales to drop 0.3 percent in April after a previously reported 0.4 percent decline in March.