It really sometimes seems as if investors really don’t look for the good news but find reasons to highlight the not-so-good news. They may be exactly right but it’s certainly been the case that for every bit of positive economic data with enough digging another set of data not only negates the positive but payroll jobs strong for decemberprovides reasons to sell and drive down stocks.

It’s enough to make the casual investor to put money into more consistent, safer vehicles. Let’s take today’s unemployment report and jobs numbers for example.

The unemployment rate fell from November to December of last year at a rate of 5.6% from 5.8%. Not bad. Yet then the numbers don’t have as much of a rosy scenario when considering the labor participation rate, the number of those actively looking for work or gainfully employed compared to the total amount of available employees. This rate, at 62.7% is the lowest it’s been in 30 years. So maybe the unemployment picture for December isn’t that good after all.

In November, the number of new jobs created was a respectable 321,000. It was announced today there were 252,000 new jobs, slightly higher than anticipated. As well, November’s job count was actually revised higher from 321,000 to 353,000. Not bad, not bad at all. This marks the 11th straight month with more than 200,000 new jobs, something our economy hasn’t seen since 1994. George Herbert Walker Bush was in his last year in office back then. For the past year, there have been 3 million new jobs, the largest gain in 15 years. So how did Wall Street take all this good news? It tanked.

The Dow fell by -170.57 to close at 17737.37, yet another day of triple digit moves. The S&P 500 closed at 2044.81, losing -17.33. Is that a head-scratcher? Not really, as investors began to peel back the unemployment numbers even further, they noted that average hourly earnings actually fell during December by five cents. During a recovery, wages should rise, not fall. Hence today’s selloff. With all this good news, it was this tiny bit of data that saw portfolios shrink once again.