Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence
Despite disappointing economic and trade data the major averages enter the final hour with large gains. That said it’s another mixed week with the Standard and Poors 500 Index down 20 points since Monday while the NASDAQ has gained 75 points.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a below expectations 164,000 new jobs in April. The official unemployment rate fell .2% to just 3.9% following a 236,000 person decline in the labor force which pushed the participation rate down to 62.8%, essentially statistical sleight of hand. The average workweek was unchanged at 34.5 hours, average hourly earnings increased .1%. The previous months anemic showing was revised up by 32,000 but the 3-month average for job creation slipped to 208,000, a decent but not great figure. Once again if the job market was as robust as it appears the labor force should be increasing nicely as people go in search of gainful employment, instead it has averaged an anemic gain of just 116,000 per month over the last 8-months.
The former CEO of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn, and 5 other executives were formerly charged with conspiracy and wire fraud after the companies Dieselgate Scandal, and rightly so. This follows the jailing for 7-years of senior executive Oliver Schmidt last year over his role in the scandal as well. If you’re a bankster however and your firm has felony criminal convictions, demonstrates a clear and lengthy pattern of criminogenic behavior, whilst pursuing a business model that is largely based on lie, cheat and steal, it’s apparently no big deal as you pay some fines and carry on, business as usual. Oh, and if your reckless management style blows up the company, no problem as tax payer funds will be used to bail you out and provide bonuses.