Surprise! The May jobs report came in hotter than expected this morning, and that rocked markets. Stocks dropped, Treasuries tanked, the dollar popped, and gold and silver slumped. We’ll see how the day goes, though, because “Jobs Fridays” are notoriously volatile.

As for that data? Well, we’ve gotten modestly weaker reports on the labor market recently...but today’s nonfarm payrolls report definitely didn’t fit the bill. Economists were expecting a job gain of 185,000 and a rise in average hourly earnings of 0.3%. But the actual numbers were +272,000 and +0.4%.

The unemployment rate did increase to 4% from 3.9%, however. Not only was that higher than expected, but it was also the first time we’ve had a “four handle” since January 2022. All in all, the net effect was for futures traders to push out the pricing in (date-wise) of the first Federal Reserve rate cut.

Unemployment Rate
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) isn’t the only semiconductor company making bank on the Artificial Intelligence (AI) boom. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSM) just reported a 30% surge in May sales due to growing demand for its contract chip manufacturing services. In the first five months of 2024, sales are up 27% from the same period of 2023. TSM shares are up 52% so far this year.

I hope you have a bag of popcorn handy, because this GameStop Corp. (GME) saga is like a real-time movie on meme stocks. Keith Gill, aka “Roaring Kitty,” plans to host a YouTube livestream at noon Eastern today – and many high-octane traders piled into GME shares yesterday on the assumption he’ll lay out a very bullish case for the faltering video game hardware and software retailer.

Then GME released Q1 financials early, showing it lost another $32.3 million, or 11 cents per share, in the quarter that ended May 4. Sales dropped to $881.8 million from $1.24 billion. Plus, the company said it would sell up to 75 million fresh shares right into the meme stock addition to the 45 million shares it already sold in May. The stock swung wildly in early trading on the various headlines.