Why Stocks are Up on a Dreary Jobs Report

Employment numbers are grim, so what's behind the rally?

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Stocks seemed to shrug off the ugly jobs report this morning (by mid-morning, the Dow was up 144 points.)

How bad was the jobs news? According to Economix, the share of working adults (61.8 percent) is at its lowest level in 15 years. "And even that, arguably, understates the depth of the problem. Fifteen years ago, women were less likely to be in the labor force than they [are] today. The share of adult men with jobs, which has been gradually falling for much of the last few decades, is now at its lowest level since the Labor Department began keeping records in 1948."

So why are stocks up? The jump could be a bounce back from the steep stock declines of the past two days. And although payroll losses (240,000 in October) exceeded the Wall Street's expectation of 200,000 jobs, the WSJ notes that some analysts were increasingly bearish heading into the report. To top it off, traders are out trolling for bargains.

Speaking of bargains, check out my story this week on investing for cheapskates.