Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence
The major averages opened higher on mixed data and enter the final hour with small gains. The ISM or Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing or services index fell 2.4 points in February to 55.2 as new orders and employment came in weak. Prices paid slipped 4.2 points to 53.5. Given the sharp decline in energy prices during March I would expect prices pressure to moderate further near term.
The big news today was the March ADP Employment Report that showed an impressive 263,000 new private sector jobs for the month. A figure far higher than the 170,000 expected. Correlation with the official BLS or Bureau of Labor Statistics report due Friday is not great. The BLS expects 178,000 new jobs at the end of the week.
JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon used his annual letter to shareholders to note that while the USA was a truly exceptional country it faced numerous headwinds including wasting trillions of dollars on war, saddling students with onerous debt levels, forcing legions of foreigners to leave after getting advanced degrees, driving millions of Americans out of the workplace with felonies for sometimes minor offenses and hobbling the housing market with hastily crafted layers of rules, a government response to the lie, cheat, and steal bankster business model. At least he mentioned debt, most members of the mainstream studiously avoid it. A member of Trump’s business forum he went on to push the usual Republican mantra of deregulation and tax cuts as the cure for our economic ills. Given his position, his failure to include the pernicious effects of debt on society, the economy and the government in this discussion speaks to either a willful blindness or stunning ignorance. Given that the bankster business model is literally based on lie, cheat, and steal I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised as an admission such as this would be on a par with the Fox stating it liked Chicken after being told to guard the Hen House.