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Reason for concern about the economy, despite job growth

Stocks traded higher today on a solid jobs report that showed 257,000 jobs added to the economy in January. The unemployment rate ticked up 5.7% from 5.6%, and the average hourly wage rose by 0.5% to $24.75.

For market watchers, Yahoo Finance’s Jeff Macke says the next level on the S&P 500 (^GSPC) to keep your eye on is 2075, the December 2 high and top of the recent range. He also notes the all-time high of 2090 is about one percent away from current levels.

Related: Payrolls pop 257k in January

Matthew Cheslock of Virtu Financial agrees “today’s numbers were very good for the economy as a whole but they’re not taking us too much higher.” He says traders were hoping for earnings or the European Central Bank to help break stocks out of the trading range they’ve been in all year. Neither did the trick, and while equities are higher today, even the good jobs number was not enough to break stocks out of the current trading range.

Cheslock also noted that many traders are again taking a look at crude (CLH15.NYM). “The volatility that we’ve seen in the commodity itself was pretty incredible this week... There are some people that are talking about $30 oil. Dipping your toes in here may be wise enough. There’s some value.

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He added that gold (GCJ15.CMX) is getting knocked around today and that money seems to be finding its way into oil.

Markets aside, Yahoo Finance Columnist Rick Newman cautions viewers to enjoy these job gains while they last. He notes that the low price of oil, combined with a strong dollar, could lead to a stall in job growth.

Looking ahead
Every Friday Midday Movers takes a look at what will be making headlines next week.

Jeff Macke says the cola wars could heat up again as both Coke (KO) and Pepsi (PEP) report earnings.

Rick Newman is keeping an eye on Tesla’s (TSLA) bottom line when they report on Wednesday.

Jen Rogers says next week will be dominated by all things “50 Shades of Grey.” The movie, based on the hit novel, has seen wild ticket presales and Deadline.com estimates a $60 million opening weekend.

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