Strong news on the jobs front (more in a minute) gave markets a big jolt this morning. Equities jumped, Treasuries slumped, and crude oil got pumped.

The dollar also popped, which took some wind out of the sails of gold and silver.

On the news front...

Today is “Jobs Friday”...and the April data did NOT disappoint. The economy created 253,000 jobs last month, way above the consensus estimate for 179,000. The unemployment rate also dropped further to 3.4% (economists expected a 3.5% reading) and average hourly earnings spiked 0.5% (0.3% was the expectation).

Other recent data has suggested an economic slowdown is in the cards. The Federal Reserve also just signaled it will likely pause its cycle of interest rate hikes for a while. But if we keep getting strong employment data like this, it could change a few minds about the economy on Wall Street and in Washington.

Meanwhile, the drama continues in regional bank land. After plummeting earlier in the week, bank shares surged in the early going today. This kind of wild action is very much like what we saw in financial stocks during the Great Financial Crisis. If you’re long – or SHORT – bank stocks, buckle up and be ready for more volatility. In case you’re keeping score, the S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE) was down 38% year-to-date through yesterday.

S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE)
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Finally, Apple (AAPL) reported better-than-expected earnings late yesterday -- $24.2 billion in profit versus a forecast of $22.6 billion. Revenue fell for the second consecutive quarter, though, with weak Mac and iPad sales offsetting strength in the iPhone division. AAPL shares were modestly higher this morning.