Clarksville, TN – Fear of Fed tapering hung over the stock market. Market participants believed that the November Employment Report would be the deciding factor for whether the Fed will begin to reduce the pace of asset purchases this month.
The jobs report was stronger than anticipated, but not as bad as feared. Payrolls rose by 203,000, a bit more than expected (median forecast: +180,000), with a mild net revision of +8,000 to the two previous months. Job gains were relatively broad-based.
Clarksville, TN – Next week, the ISM Manufacturing Index should set the tone for the week, but the markets will put a lot of weight on the November jobs data.
Recall that the government shutdown did not have a noticeable impact on the October nonfarm payroll figures (which were stronger than anticipated), but did alter the household survey data (the unemployment rate and the employment/population ratio).
Clarksville, TN – In her nomination hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Janet Yellen took a balanced approach in discussing how she would conduct monetary policy, but the markets took that as “dovish.”
She gave no hint that the pace of asset purchases would be tapered anytime soon, but she also cautioned that the program could not last indefinitely. She noted that the economy is far from fully recovered and indicated that “we have farther to go” in the labor market.
Clarksville, TN – The economic data surprised. Real GDP rose at a stronger-than-expected 2.8% annual rate in the advance estimate for 3Q13, but the figure was boosted by faster growth in inventories (which added 0.8 percentage point to GDP growth).
Consumer spending rose at a 1.5% annual rate, while business fixed investment rose 1.6% – nothing to write home about. The partial government shutdown had a mixed impact on the October employment figures.
Nonfarm payrolls rose by 204,000 (median forecast: +125,000), while August and September figures were revised a net +60,000.
Clarksville, TN – The economic data were mixed, but mostly on the strong side of expectations. The ISM’s two monthly surveys surprised to the upside. Motor vehicle sales advanced
However, the August Employment Report disappointed. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 169,000 (vs. a median forecast of +180,000 and expectations of an upside surprise). Figures for June and July were revised a net 74,000 lower (July went from +162,000 to +104,000).
Manufacturing rose by 6,000. Construction was flat. Retail added 44,000. The unemployment rate fell to 7.3%, but that was due to lower labor force participation (the lowest since May 1978).
Clarksville, TN – The economic data were consistent with a slowing in the rate of overall growth in July.
The estimate of second quarter growth was revised higher (to a 2.5% annual rate, vs. +1.7% in the advance estimate), but that was almost entirely due to a smaller-than-expected trade deficit (the estimate of consumer spending growth was the same and the estimate of business fixed investment was only slightly different).
Personal income and spending figures showed a poor start for the consumer in 3Q13. Durable goods orders tanked in July, reflecting a drop in aircraft orders (which were strong in May and June). However, ex-transportation orders still disappointed.
Clarksville, TN – The housing market is stronger than it’s been in years. The U.S. economy grew an estimated 1.8% during the first quarter of 2013–not rip-roaring expansion, but an improvement over the previous quarter’s 0.4%.
Employment isn’t where it needs to be, but companies are no longer shedding jobs in record numbers and the Federal Reserve thinks the unemployment rate will fall roughly another half-percent by the end of the year. Weeks and even months have gone by without headlines about a new European debt crisis.
Sentiment Stable as Employment Measure Records Third Straight Month in Positive Territory
Yonkers, NY – The Consumer Reports Index, an overall measure of Americans’ personal financial health, shows Americans are reporting significantly fewer financial troubles. The Index’s trouble tracker measure fell sharply to 34.0 from 41.7 a month earlier—the lowest level since the organization first measured it in April 2009.
The Consumer Reports trouble tracker has dropped more than 50 percent from its high-water mark in September 2009, when this measure reached 68.7. The greatest drop in financial difficulties over the past 30 days was among those in households earning less than $50,000, followed by the most affluent in homes earning $100,000 or more. Amidst this general drop in financial difficulties, middle-income Americans experienced a slight rise in financial troubles. «Read the rest of this article»
Clarksville, TN – I am always a little shocked at how little many business owners know about employment contracts, especially employers who have several, or even many, employees.
Many business owners simple assume that, because their business is located in an at-will employment state, a contract for employment is either infeasible or otherwise undesirable. Often, nothing could be further from the truth.
If your business is in an at-will employment state, that, in a nutshell, merely means that the default rule is that an employment relationship can be terminated any time for any reason, as long as you’re not discriminating against a member of a protected class. «Read the rest of this article»
Market Commentary by Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Chief Economist
The economic data were mixed, but the stock market continued to focus on the good news and ignored the rest. Retail sales rose more than expected in February, but results varied across sectors. Industrial production picked up, following a weak January (results varied by industry).
The inflation reports showed some pressure from higher gasoline, as anticipated, and moderate core inflation. Treasury reported a smaller deficit than a year ago. Initial claims for unemployment benefits continued to trend lower. Consumer sentiment fell in the mid-March assessment, with a sharp decline in expectations (down to a 15-month low).
The Dow Jones Industrials Average continued to new record highs, up 10 sessions in a row. In contrast to the optimism expressed in equities, bond yields have remained relatively low. «Read the rest of this article»
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