jobs report

Financial Independence

Financial Independence

While many were enjoying an extended break last week, there was good news and bad news on the financial independence front. For the economy, independence from a Federal Reserve rate cut proved to be the right course of action, at least for now.

Meh May Jobs Report and the Powell Put

Meh May Jobs Report and the Powell Put

Stocks reversed multi-week losses and you can thank Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The week began with hand wringing over the potential Mexican tariffs. On Tuesday, Powell announced that the central bank was keeping an eye on trade developments, their impact on the U.S. economy, and would “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.”

Solid Jobs Report Justifies Powell’s Case

Solid Jobs Report Justifies Powell’s Case

The government reported that the economy added a better than expected 263,000 jobs in April. It was the 103rd straight month of job growth, the longest streak on record. Nearly ten years into the expansion, job creation is 205,000 for the first four months of 2019, just above the monthly amount added since the labor market bottomed out in 2010.

Did Tariff Man or Yield Curve Tank Stocks?

Did Tariff Man or Yield Curve Tank Stocks?

It was an exhausting week for investors, even though there were only four trading sessions. Monday’s U.S.-China 90-day trade “time out” stock bounce was dwarfed by big sell-offs throughout the rest of the week. The drubbing began after the President’s tweet that he is a “tariff man,” shortly followed by another, which questioned whether a “real deal” with Beijing is actually possible.

Strong Jobs Trump Tariffs

Strong Jobs Trump Tariffs

At 12:01am Friday morning, the U.S. imposed previously announced tariffs on the European Union, Canada and Mexico. When the plan was unveiled back in March, the three regions were given a reprieve. The hope was that during a cooling off period, the U.S. would be able to convince the three to restrict metal shipments, as it had been able to do with South Korea, Brazil, Australia and Argentina.

Goldilocks Appears for a Bull Market Anniversary

Goldilocks Appears for a Bull Market Anniversary

What better way to celebrate the ninth anniversary of the bull market than with a strong employment report?  The economy created a better than expected 313,000 new jobs in February, higher than the anticipated 200,000. The strength was seen across a variety of sectors: retail increased by 50,300, construction was up 61,000, manufacturing added 31,000 jobs and professional & business services employment added 50,000.

September Jobs Report Needs an Asterisk

September Jobs Report Needs an Asterisk

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey blew across the labor market, as employers shed 33,000 jobs in September. Yes, it was the first negative reading on payrolls in seven years, but until we have the subsequent few months’ reports, it’s hard to read too much into the results. (As a note, Puerto Rico is NOT included in the BLS report.) The Labor Department said that the storms likely contributed to “a sharp employment decline in food services and drinking places (-105K) and below-trend growth in some other industries.”