The Market Bull – February 10, 2020
A trip to the dentist Friday and a face full of Novocain kept me from the report, so will start the week with Friday’s highlights.
Consumer credit jumped nearly twice expectations in December with a 22.1 billion Dollar advance. Non-revolving debt essentially student and auto loans advanced a respectable 9.4 billion while revolving or credit card debt surged 12.6 billion its best showing in 37 months or the 13.1 billion dollar gain recorded in November of 2016. There’s two ways to look at this either the economy is truly booming as the headlines proclaim or it is the last gasp of indebted consumers determined to go out with a bang. Personally, I don’t think the data is particularly compelling either way.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a much better than expected 225,000 new jobs in January. The official unemployment rate increased to 3.6% as labor force participation rose to a cyclical high of 63.4%. Average weekly hours were unchanged at 34.3, average hourly earnings advanced a respectable .2%. Previous months job total were revised up slightly. A strong start to the new year, the pause in production of the Boeing 737 Max and the impact of the coronavirus on supply chains, distribution and tourism have not yet shown up in the data and will likely take a toll. Also of note. The benchmark January revision means that payroll gains averaged 175,000 in 2019, down from 193,000 in 2018 (revised down from 223,000). Therefore, job creation has not improved over the past three years, as might have been expected given changes in tax policies and regulations.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 3,352.09 up 24.38
NASDAQ finished the day: 9,628.39 up 107.88
Gold ended trading at: $1,575.50 up $2.10