The Market Bull – October 4, 2019
With the impeachment theatre in play the major averages closed with solid gains on generally disappointing data after jobs growth missed expectations. Since Monday the Standard and Poors 500 Index slipped 15 points or .5% while the NASDAQ gained 18 points or .23%.
The International Trade Balance widened to 54.9 billion in August. Exports increased to 207.9 billion Imports advanced to 262.8 billion. Petroleum imports narrowed to just 300 million. Based on these figures trade will drag on third quarter GDP.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the September Employment Report today. It missed expectations with 136,000 new jobs. Previous months were revised higher by a combined 45,000 so the total figure was decent. The official unemployment rate hit a more than 50-year low of 3.5%. Average hourly earnings were unchanged snapping a string of 4 solid gains. Average weekly hours came in unchanged at 34.4. Also unchanged was the Labor Force Participation Rate at 63.2%. Overall an ok report, that said trend growth in employment continues to slow, but so far remains just above the labor force growth rate. Given a sub 4% unemployment rate wage gains should be strong and driving a dramatic return to the labor force in the general populace, both remain conspicuously absent and have done so for several years.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 2,952.01 up 41.38
NASDAQ finished the day: 7,982.47 up 110.21
Gold ended trading at: $1,509.60 down $4.20