The Market Bull – April 5, 2019
Rumors of yet another pending settlement of the trade war with the Chinese helped the major averages to decent gains for the week. Since Monday the Standard and Poors 500 Index is up 44 points or 1.5%, while the NASDAQ has gained 139 points or 1.78%.
While Trump is quick to trumpet the latest “imminent” settlement to the long-standing trade war with the Chinese. The dysfunctional nature of his administration continues as his trade representatives contradict him publicly by noting that wide differences remain.
The March employment report snapped back nicely from February’s anemic showing with a respectable gain of 196,000 new jobs. Previous months were revised up by 13,000. The official unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.8%. Average weekly hours remained unchanged as well at 34.5. Average hourly earnings gained .1%. The labor force fell for a 3rd month, pushing the participation rate down to 63%. Average payroll gains for the first quarter ran 180,000 per month, an okay, but not great figure. Many will argue over the details, employment is a lagging indicator so I wouldn’t get worked up over them If I were you.
Consumer credit came in a little soft in February with a 15.2 billion Dollar increase. Once again led by student and auto loans, up 12.2 billion. Credit cards managed their best showing in 3 months advancing 3 billion. On a year ago basis credit is up 4.5% faster than economic and wage growth because nothing screams success like record debt levels. With interest rates falling and the Federal Reserve looking increasingly likely to start cutting rates once again, credit use is likely to pick back up.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 2,892.74 up 13.35
NASDAQ finished the day: 7,938.69 up 46.91
Gold ended trading at: $1,295.60 up $1.30