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.
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.”
The latest jobs report shows employers added 263,000 jobs in April. The unemployment rate fell to the lowest rate in half a century. Mola Lenghi reports on the CBS Evening News, and yours truly makes a guest appearance!
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The February jobs report was a mixed bag. Let’s get the bad news out of the way: the economy added only 20,000 positions, the smallest gain since September 2017. The number was much lower than last year’s average monthly amount of 223,000 and far below expectations for 190,000.
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.