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Caleb Lawrence – KPIG-KPYG Radio – Share the Wealth – February 3, 2017

Generally positive economic data sent the major averages into the final hour with modest gains pushing the indexes into the black for the week. The Standard and Poors 500 Index is up 10 points or ½% while the NASDAQ has gained 22 points or 1/2% since Monday as well.

The January employment report gained a much better than expected 277,000 jobs, average hours increased .1, average earnings gained .1%, the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.8% as the Labor Force Participation rate increased to 62.9%. December and November were revised lower by a combined 13,000 jobs. January helped to push the 3-month average job creation to a respectable 199,000. On a year ago basis average earnings advanced 2.5%. Another great headline at +277,000 jobs but the details are just ok, much like the economy as a whole that muddles along trying to maintain 2% economic growth with trillions in stimulus, deficit spending and emergency level interest rates.

The January Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing or services index slipped .7 points to 56.5 despite a gain in employment as new orders and exports slipped. Prices paid gained 2.9 points to 59. This index covers about 88% of total economic activity. The report also noted, as have others of late, growing uncertainty with the Trump administration as its firebrand rhetoric and shoot from the hip and ask questions later style continues to rattle industry, financial markets and trading partners worldwide.

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