Tickers in this Article: NUE, DLTR, TJX, CRESY
The big news of day, week, and possibly the month was that 192,000 jobs were added in the month of February. The headline, however, was that the unemployment rate finally fell below 9% to 8.9%. That's the first time unemployment has fallen below 9% in nearly a year. So here is what you do about it from an investment standpoint: nothing.

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Macro Matters
Without a doubt, lower unemployment is a good thing for economic growth. Clearly an unemployment rate of 8.9% from 9.5% a year ago is a great signal that the economy is headed in the right direction. However, as an investor, it should really not affect how you proceed from here. While the macroeconomic environment matters and U.S. unemployment is an important macro factor, it's not a green light to go shopping for stocks.

Reasons to Stay Put
For one, stocks are no longer as attractive as they once were. Second, other factors are at play. Food prices are rising to all time highs. Gasoline prices are up daily. If those who are employed are having to spend more and food and gas to survive, then an improving economy doesn't improve things for all. That's why discount retailers like Dollar Tree (Nasdaq:DLTR) and TJX (NYSE:TJX) continue to perform even though more consumers are finding more money in their pockets. And despite trading near 52-week highs, both Dollar Tree and TJX trade at 15 to 16 times earnings. (For more, see 5 Stocks At 52-Week Highs.)

Commodities Rule the Roost
What is benefiting from a recovering economy are the essential building blocks of society. Grain commodities and metals are doing well. Steel should have a good year because steel stocks usually lag an economic recovery by a year or more. U.S. steel company Nucor (NYSE:NUE) is one of the most efficient steel companies around. As steel demand picks up, Nucor's profits will swell. Shares also yield 3%. Argentina's Cresud (Nasdaq:CRESY) owns and operates farms throughout South America. It sells beef, grains and milk - commodities which are all in high demand today. Despite a P/E of 25, Cresud has some valuable land assets in one of the most fertile places in the world. Profits will likely grow in the years to come.

What the World Needs Now
As the economy slowly recovers and employment continues to increase, now is a good time to look closely at businesses that provide the essential goods and services to meet the world's growing needs. (For more, see The Value Investor's Handbook.)

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