Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence
Despite mixed economic data the major averages enter the final hour with small gains. Since Monday the Standard and Poors 500 Index is up 10 points or .4% while the NASDAQ has gained 63 points or .9%.
The 261,000 jobs created in October missed expectations but helped to push the unemployment rate to 4.1%. The average work week was unchanged for a 4th straight month at 34.4. Average hourly earnings were also unchanged. August and September were revised higher by a combined 64,000 erasing the previous months decline keeping the record consecutive months of job creation intact. The labor force participation rate fell .4% to 62.7% meaning 765,000 people gave up looking for work and left the labor force. If the employment data was half as strong as indicated by the official job creation and unemployment rate data average hourly earnings would be increasing nicely and the labor force participation rate would also show steady gains as the formerly unemployed returned to the work force and got hired.
The September trade deficit increased 1.1 billion to 43.5 billion. Exports increased 2.1 billion while imports advanced 2.8 billion continuing the trend of improving trade volumes for a number of month’s now.
The Institute for Supply Management Non-Manufacturing or Services Index gained .3 points to 60.1 in October on fairly broad incremental gains. Prices paid slipped 3.6 points to a still high 62.7.
Factory Orders increased 1.4% in September on a 2% gain in Durable Goods. The proxy for business spending non-defense capital goods orders ex-aircraft increased nicely for a 3rd consecutive month with a 1.7% advance.