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Monday, July 08, 2013 – Nothing Recedes Like Progress

Nothing Recedes Like Progress by Sinclair Noe DOW + 88 = 15,224SPX + 8 = 1640NAS + 5 = 348410 YR YLD – .07 = 2.65% OIL – .17 = 103.05GOLD + 13.50 = 1238.30SILV + .18 = 19.18 Took a little break for the Fourth of July, so we have some catching up to do. Friday morning the jobs report showed the unemployment rate holding steady at 7.6%, even as the economy added 195,000 jobs. Better than expected but not good enough; possibly proving the adage that nothing recedes like progress, or at the very least we know that the path of progress is neither swift nor easy. More than 8 million people are working part-time for economic reasons; nearly 3 million are working in temp jobs; more than 4 million are in the ranks of the long-term unemployed; more than one million are considered discouraged, they’ve just given up I suppose. If the labor market holds steady and job creation continues at the current rate, the unemployment rate will dip below 7 percent sometime in mid- 2014; by which point the majority of American workers will be part-time. We really should be adding more than 300,000 jobs a month, not fewer than 200,000. As the Economic Policy Institute points out, we would need more than five years of job growth at this rate to get back to the level of unemployment that prevailed before the Great Recession. Still, the 195,000 new jobs should boost expectations for growth and inflation, …

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Friday, June 07, 2013 – The Ministry of Truth is Now Accepting Job Applications

The Ministry of Truth is Now Accepting Job Applications by Sinclair Noe DOW + 207 = 15,248SPX + 20 = 1643NAS + 45 = 3469 10 YR YLD + .08 = 2.16%OIL + 1.17 = 95.93GOLD – 29.10 = 1385.60SILV – .90 = 21.79 It’s the first Friday of the month and so today we start with the jobs report. The economy added 175,000 net new jobs in May. The unemployment rate moved up to 7.6% from 7.5%. I’ll explain how that works in just a moment. The March and April jobs numbers were revised slightly, and the final numbers are 12,000 less than previously reported. The headline number was slightly above expectations of 165,000 jobs added. So, another month of moderate job growth, why did the unemployment rate go up? More people jumped into the labor pool, looking for work. The participation rate increased to 63.4% in May from 63.3% in April. This is a measure of the working age population in the labor force, and historically this number is closer to 66%; some of the decline is due to people who have dropped out of the labor pool, but some of the decline is due to demographics. About 420,000 people got back into the market for a job and 319,000 found a job, but the additional 101,000 who are now in the market for a job and did not find work – that pushed the unemployment rate higher. There are still 7.9 million involuntary part time workers, basically …

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Monday, May 06, 2013 – Wall Street Loves the Mushy Jobs Report

Wall Street Loves the Mushy Jobs Report by Sinclair Noe DOW – 5= 14968SPX + 3 = 1617NAS + 14 = 339210 YR YLD + .02 = 1.77%OIL + .18 = 95.79GOLD – .40 = 1471.30SILV – .09 = 24.14 Friday’s jobs report was great for Wall Street. The Dow Industrials briefly topped 15,000 and managed to close at a record high. The S&P 500 hits new records as well. The actual jobs report was only semi-good. The economy added 165,000 net new jobs in April. The February and March reports were revised higher. That’s certainly better than losing 700,000 jobs, but it wasn’t enough to get the economy up to cruising speed. Wall Street loved it; just enough job growth to avoid recession; not enough job growth to cause the Fed to exit QE to infinity. Wages are still basically flat. Since the financial collapse of 2008, 9.5 million Americans have simply left the workforce. Once you leave the workforce, you stop being counted, you become invisible. About 22 million Americans are unemployed or under-employed or working part-time because they can’t find full-time work. The Federal Reserve last week told us they are pretty well tapped out as far as their ability to fix things; they said: “fiscal policy is restraining economic growth.” A new report from the Brookings Institute puts numbers on fiscal policy. In the 46 months since the official end of the Great Recession, state, local and federal governments have cut about 500,000 jobs. In contrast, …

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Friday, May 03, 2013 – Jobs on the First Friday in May

Jobs on the First Friday in May by Sinclair Noe DOW + 142 = 14,873SPX + 16 = 1614NAS + 38 = 337810 YR YLD + .12 = 1.75%OIL + 1.47 = 95.46GOLD + 3.30 = 1471.70SILV + .30 = 24.23 If you’ve been a regular listener over the years you know that I get a little wonkish on the first Friday of each month. That’s the day we get the monthly jobs report. I consider this to be one of the most important economic reports and so I spend a little extra time covering it. Stick around, and we’ll make you an expert. Today, the Labor Department reports there were 165,000 net jobs added to the economy in April. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.5%, down from 7.6% in March; that’s the lowest level since December 2008. The number of jobs added beat estimates of a gain of 135,000 to around 155,000. The number of new jobs created in March was revised up to 138,000 from 88,000, while February’s figure was revised up to 332,000 from 268,000.With the revision, the 332,000 jobs gained in February was the biggest monthly gain in jobs since November 2005. So, the economy created 114,000 additional jobs in March and February than initially estimated.The average for the past three months is about 211,000 jobs. It is widely estimated that the economy needs to add 250,000 over an extended period of time in order to see the unemployment rate drop below 6%. The number of …

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Monday, April 29, 2013 – A Busy Week Heading in the Same Direction

A Busy Week Heading in the Same Direction by Sinclair Noe DOW + 106 = 14,818SPX + 11 = 1593NAS + 27 = 330710 YR YLD + .01 = 1.67%OIL + .58 = 93.58GOLD + 13.60 = 1477.50SILV + .55 = 24.69  The S&P 500 index ended at an all-time high. We have a celebration when the Dow Industrial Average closes at an all time high; no party for the S&P 500. I wish I could give you a valid reason for this but it defies logic. There is no law that says you can’t enjoy milk and cookies anyway. This week offers a packed economic calendar,with ISM manufacturing data Wednesday, and PMI manufacturing reports for the euro zone and China on Thursday. The week ends with Friday’s U.S. employment report, expected to show 150,000 new nonfarm payrolls in April; and the backdrop to all the information is last Friday’s initial report on first quarter GDP, which came in at 2.5%, short of the consensus forecast of 3%.  Also, we’ll compare and contrast this week’s news with last week’s reports out of Europe showing economic weakness in Germany as well really bad weakness in the peripheral countires where unemployment is rising from one awful record to another. In Spain, for example, the rate increased to 27.2%, with an even more stunning 57.2% rate among the young. In Greece, the unemployment rate tops 27% and the government is cutting thousands more jobs to qualify for more ECB bailout money. The European …

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Friday, March 08, 2013 – Jobs Report and Bad Banks

Mark your Calendar, April 5 & 6 and make your reservations for the 2013 Wealth Protection Conference in Tempe, AZ. For conference information visit www.buysilvernow.comor click here or call 480-820-5877. Jobs Report and Bad Banks DOW + 67 = 14, 397SPX + 6 = 1551NAS + 12 = 324410 YR YLD +.07 = 2.06%OIL + .29 = 91.85GOLD + .60 = 1580.20SILV + .12 = 29.10 The Dow Industrial hit their fourth consecutive record high close. The S&P 500 is within 1% of record highs. The S&P is up for 6 straight days, and 9 out of the past 10 weeks. Year to date, the Dow is up 9.9 percent, while the S&P 500 is up 8.8 percent and the Nasdaq is up about 7.5 percent. The economy added 236,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate fell from 7.9% to 7.7%. The number of jobs gained beat expectations by about 76,000. The unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since December of 2008. Part of the reason for the drop in the unemployment rate is that fewer people are counted as being in the labor pool, looking for a job; this is known as the participation rate and it dropped to 63.5%, matching a 32 year low. Still, this was a much stronger jobs report than we’ve seen in a while. There was improvement, but not enough. We haven’t yet seen the dramatic upswing that leads to a virtuous cycle of growth and truly low unemployment. The report showed …

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Monday, March 04, 2013 – The Strange Disconnect

I will be speaking at the 2013 Wealth Protection Conference April 5 & 6. Click here for more information or call 800-494-4149 or 480-820-5877. The Strange Disconnect by Sinclair Noe DOW + 38 = 14,127SPX + 7 = 1525NAS + 12 = 318210 YR YLD +.02 = 1.88%OIL – .62 = 90.06GOLD – 3.00 = 1574.80SILV – .06 = 28.62 It seemed like a long weekend, and then suddenly it was over. So, just to make sure we’re still on point, let’s start with a brief recap of last week. One week ago, there was widespread concern about the Italian elections, which ended in gridlock. Fifty-seven percent of the Italian vote went to parties that have vowed to tear up the European Union’s austerity script. It might send a signal of an end to economic reforms in Italy, that could undermine confidence in Italy, that could result in higher borrowing costs; which could result in a new bout of Euro-zone sovereign solvency fears, which could send markets lower until such fears are removed. In the US, Fed Chairman Bernanke testified on Capitol Hill that Fed stimulus would in fact continue into the foreseeable future, and the economy was doing much better, according to Bernanke. The housing and auto sectors and consumer sentiment data showed continuous improvements. The Fed will keep the free money spigot wide open and the banks will be flooded with cash, or some rough equivalent. If there was ever a good excuse to rally off a dip …

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Friday, February 01, 2013 – Jobs Report Friday

Jobs Report Friday by Sinclair Noe DOW + 149 = 14,009SPX + 15 = 1513NAS + 36 = 317910 YR YLD + .02 = 2.01%OIL + .12 = 97.61 GOLD + 3.80 = 1668.60SILV + .37 = 31.94 Today is a Jobs Report Friday. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in January, and the unemployment rate inched higher to 7.9%. The headline number was below expectations, which had been running from 170,000 to 185,000 new jobs. However, employment figures for November and December were revised up sharply. November was revised from 161,000 to 247,000, a gain of 86,000; so it turns out that job growth immediately before the election was actually under-estimated; December was revised from 155,000 to 196,000, a gain of 41,000. In January, job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, health care, and wholesale trade, while employment edged down in transportation and warehousing. Exactly what this pace of job growth means for the unemployment rate depends on whether many of the workers sitting on the sidelines decide to join, or rejoin, or can find a place in the labor force. Right now, labor force participation rates, the share of people of working age who are either working or looking for jobs, is hovering around 30-year lows. Only those who are actively looking for work are counted as unemployed, so if the labor force participation stays low, even modest job growth can cause the unemployment rate to fall quite a bit. The decline in the labor force participation …

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Monday, January 28, 2013 – What’s Going On

What’s Going On by Sinclair Noe DOW – 14 = 13,881SPX – 2 = 1500NAS + 4 = 315410 YR YLD + .03 = 1.97%OIL + .69 = 96.57GOLD – 4.80 = 1655.50SILV – .34 = 30.94 This will be a big week of economic reports, including: the Federal Reserve concludes its first policy meeting of 2013 on Wednesday; the monthly jobs report on Friday (look for a gain of 165,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 7.8%); earnings reporting season continues according to expectations; tomorrow brings an update on fourth quarter GDP; later in the week we’ll see reports on incomes, spending, and sentiment. Today we learned orders for durable goods, the big-ticket items made in the US, increased 4.6% in December, fanned by a big batch of bookings for military and commercial aircraft. Demand also improved for most other makers of long-lasting goods, suggesting that US manufacturers could be poised for a modest rebound in 2013. Then Caterpillar issued a less than bright outlook for 2013, which put a damper on the sector. Toyota Motors retook the title of world’s largest auto maker, posting a 23% gain in global sales to a record 9.75 million vehicles in 2012. General Motors moved to second place in global sales at 9.29 million; Volkswagen was in third place with 9.07 million sales. The National Association of Realtors reports pending home sales fell 4.3% in December, with low inventory cutting results. The trade group’s pending-home-sales index declined to 101.7 …

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Friday, December 7, 2012 – A Date Which Will Live in Infamy, Plus the Jobs Report

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy, Plus the Jobs Report by Sinclair Noe DOW + 81 = 13,155SPX + 4 = 1418 NAS – 11 = 297810 YR YLD +.05 = 1.63%OIL – .27 = 85.99 GOLD + 4.50 = 1704.50SILV + .08 = 33.11 Today marks the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. There were of course, memorials in Hawaii and around the country. I’ve seen a few of the pictures. Each year the number of Pearl Harbor survivors that attend these memorials, their number grows smaller and their ranks thin. If you know a veteran of World War II, be sure to take time to recognize their stories, be sure to say thanks. Today’s major economic data was the monthly jobs report; widely expected to be weak due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Instead, it came in relatively strong. The headline numbers: the economy added 146,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7%, a four year low. The Labor Department claimed that the effect of Sandy on the report was minimal, saying in a statement, “Our analysis suggests that Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November.” In other words, we should not look at this report as surprisingly good given the effect of the hurricane. Rather, the Labor Department claims that the jobs numbers should be analyzed without taking the storm into account at all. And by that standard, not only were the job …

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Friday, November 2, 2012 – Jobs, Jobs, and More Jobs

Jobs, Jobs, and More Jobsby Sinclair Noe 11022012 Script DOW – 139 = 13,093SPX – 13 = 1414NAS – 37 = 298210 YR YLD +.01 = 1.73% OIL – 1.98 = 87.58GOLD – 38.10 = 1677.90SILV – 1.35 = 31.01 The big economic news of the day is the October jobs report. The Labor Department says the economy added 171,000 jobs last month, and they revised prior months to show even more job gains. The unemployment rate rose to 7.9%, as more people entered the labor pool. Some 578,000 people entered the labor force in September, according to the household survey, with 410,000 saying they found work. The discrepancy led to the slight uptick in the unemployment rate. The professional-services sector created 51,000 jobs, health care added 31,000, retail gained 36,000 and leisure and hospitality companies hired 28,000 workers, manufacturers added 13,000 jobs after shedding workers in the prior two months. Altogether, the private sector added 184,000 jobs, with government subtracting 13,000 from the final total. Any jump in jobs is good for housing. While overall construction added 17,000 jobs in September, residential-building construction employment fell by 2,000. Residential specialty contractor jobs increased by 6,700, which speaks to the real root of today’s housing recovery. All-cash investors are leading the gains; they buy distressed properties and then repair and remodel them to turn them into rentals. It’s no wonder remodelers are seeing greater gains than the home builders. Companies also hired more employees in September and August than previously estimated. …

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A Raft of Reports by Sinclair Noe DOW + 136 = 13,232SPX + 15 = 1427NAS + 42 = 302010 YR YLD +.03 = 1.71%OIL +.65 = 88.48GOLD – 5.20 = 1716.00SILV un = 32.26 We have a drove of economic data to cover today; a mass of intelligence; a flock of facts; a legion of lowdowns; a swarm of information; and we’ll sort through the stories and try to make sense of it all. Of course, tomorrow we’ll get the big report on the monthly jobs picture for October. Friday’s jobs report is expected to show non-farm employers added just 125,000 jobs last month – not enough to prevent the jobless rate from rising a tenth of a point to 7.9 percent. The unemployment rate fell to a near four-year low in September at 7.8%. Today, we heard some hints about tomorrow’s non-farm labor report. Automatic Data Processing, the payroll processor, always releases their report prior to the government’s report. The ADP report is not a particularly good indicator of the BLS report. ADP shows private employers added 158,000 workers last month. There is some evidence of labor market improvement. It is not totally convincing yet but overall the message is positive. Weekly initial unemployment claims declined to 363,000 for the week ending October 27, down 9,000 from the previous week. Unemployment claims topped out over 650,000 back in the first quarter of 2009 and have been moving mostly sideways this year, but are near the cycle bottom. Don’t …

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Friday, October, 5, 2012 – Slow, Steady, Weak, Uncooked Growth in Jobs Report

Slow, Steady, Weak, Uncooked Growth in Jobs Report by Sinclair Noe DOW + 34 = 13,610SPX -0.47 = 1460NAS – 13 = 3136 10 YR YLD +.07 = 1.73%OIL – 1.79 = 89.92GOLD – 9.00 = 1782.30 SILV – .46 = 34.61PLAT – 13.00 = 1710.00 The first Friday of each month brings the jobs report and it is always important economic data. This is the first Friday in October, in an election year; so, it is really big news. We’ve discussed at great length that the jobs report is imperfect; even after revisions, the report is imperfect. Still, the report provides a manner of comparison, and it is the best we have. It provides an apples to apples comparison. The economy added 114,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate fell to 7.8% from 8.1% The unemployment rate is the lowest since 2009, and the first time the rate has dropped under 8% during the Obama administration. The private sector has now added jobs for 31 consecutive months. Still, 114,000 new jobs would have to be considered weak growth. The best guesses are that the economy would have to generate at least 250,000 jobs each month for several years to reduce unemployment to around 6%. So, the first question is why did the unemployment rate drop when the number of new jobs was only showing weak growth? The Labor Department revised employment figures for August and July to show somewhat faster job growth in late summer, mostly because of government …

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Thursday, October 4, 2012 – If I Didn’t Hear It, Did It Happen?

If I Didn’t Hear It, Did It Happen? By Sinclair Noe DOW + 80 = 13,573SPX + 10 = 1461NAS + 14 = 314910 YR YLD +.04 = 1.66%OIL + 3.47 = 91.61GOLD + 11.30 = 1791.30SILV + .33 = 35.07PLAT + 31.00 = 1725.00 Initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 367,000, the Labor Department. But that followed a drop of 22,000 and a four-week average, which offers a view of trends, held steady at 375,000. The monthly jobs report is tomorrow morning. Today, the Federal Reserve released the minutes of the FOMC’s September 13meeting. Of course, we know the Fed launched QE to Infinity and Beyond, or at least $40 billion dollars a month in mortgage-backed securities, until such time as we see maximum employment or until inflation becomes a problem. From the meeting minutes we learn that there might be limits on QE. The report says: “Most participants agreed that the use of numerical thresholds could be useful in providing more clarity about the conditionality of the forward guidance but thought that further work would be needed to address the related communications challenges.” In other words, there might be limits to acceptable unemployment. Maybe 7%, maybe 5%? We don’t know. And there might be limits to acceptable inflation. Maybe 2%, maybe 3%? We don’t know. We would like to know. If we knew, we could bet on the numbers. Unemployment at 8.2% and inflation at 1.5% equals risk on. Unemployment …

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Monday, October 1, 2012 – Ghosts in the Machine

Ghosts in the Machine by Sinclair Noe DOW + 77 = 13,515SPX + 3 = 1444NAS – 2 = 311310 YR YLD – .01 = 1.62%OIL – .02 = 92.46GOLD + 4.10 = 1776.20SILV +.16 = 34.75PLAT + 16.00 = 1685.00 You can watch the Presidential Debate this Wednesday but if you’re looking for clues about who will live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue over the next four years, the thing to watch is the Non-Farm Payroll Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday morning. It’s all about jobs. In August, the report show the economy added 96,000 jobs. The September report needs to show that the economy added even more; it needs to show we’re moving in the right direction, not slipping back. The unemployment rate is currently at 8.1%. That’s a lousy number but at least it has been heading in the right direction. Of course, a major reason the unemployment rate has been falling is because people have dropped out of the workforce; they are no longer actively looking for a job and so they no longer get counted; that’s been the methodology for quite some time now; these are people who are not working but they aren’t considered unemployed. They have become ghosts in the machine. Now, there is a big difference between the 800,000 jobs lost in the last month of the Bush administration and the 96,000 jobs gained last month under the Obama administration, but the reality is that 96k jobs is just …

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Friday, September 7, 2012 – More Than You Want to Know About the Jobs Report

More Than You Want to Know About the Jobs Report By Sinclair Noe DOW + 14 = 13,306SPX + 5 = 1437NAS + 0.61 = 313610 YR YLD – .01 = 1.66%OIL +.89 = 96.42GOLD + 34.00 = 1736.30SILV + .97 = 33.78PLAT + 10.00 = 1597.00 The first Friday of each month the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports on nonfarm payrolls for the previous month. While that sounds rather mundane, the jobs report is a pretty big deal. The results attempt to measure some of the most vital data about the economy; who’s working and where and how much are they being paid; from this we can estimate how much people will or will not spend, the strength or weakness of businesses, the overall health of the economy. The fates of Presidents and political parties can hang on the results. The Federal Reserve will use the report to determine if they will turn on the printing press. This in turn affects the prices we pay for almost everything. So, it’s a pretty big deal. The economy added 96,000 jobs in August, far below the consensus of 125,000 to 150,000. In addition, July’s tally was revised down to 141,000 from 163,000. The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 8.1% from 8.3% and the “real” unemployment rate (U6) fell to 14.7% from 15%, but the unemployment rate came down for the wrong reason; a sharp drop in the size of the labor force. The labor participation rate fell to 65.3%, its lowest …

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Friday, July 6, 2012 – That’s Just the Way It Is

That’s Just The Way It Isby Sinclair NoeDOW – 124 = 12,772SPX – 12 = 1354NAS – 38 = 293710 YR YLD -.05 = 1.54%OIL – 3.10 = 84.12GOLD – 21.50 = 1583.40SILV -.60 = 27.20PLAT – 28.00 = 1451.00We make a big deal out of the monthly employment outlook report.  It is a natural mistake. We think the report can tell us whether the economy is improving and, if so, by how much. Employment is fundamental for consumption, corporate profits, tax revenues, deficit reduction, and financial markets. People place too much emphasis on the official report, which is really only an estimate; there will be revision.  In about eight months, we’ll have an accurate count from state employment offices, but by then no one will care. There are several approaches to analyzing employment. And then there are seasonal factors. And you will be told there are different numbers that require your attention. And when you cut through all the noise and confusion, the monthly jobs report for June was a gain of 80,000 – and it just plain and simple sucked. The Labor Department said non-farm payrolls expanded by just 80,000 jobs in June, marking the third straight month employment has grown by fewer than 100,000 positions. Job creation was too weak to bring down the 8.2 percent unemployment rate. Job creation averaged 75,000 per month during the second quarter, compared with an average increase of 226,000 in the first quarter. Economists estimate that roughly 125,000 jobs are needed each …

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Friday, June 1, 2012 – Weak Jobs Report – What’s Next? – by Sinclair Noe

DOW – 274 = 12,118SPX – 32 = 1278NAS – 79 = 274710 YR YLD – .11 = 1.47%OIL – 3.27 = 83.26GOLD + 66.10 = 1627.30SILV + .97 = 28.78PLAT + 32.00 = 1451.00 Yesterday we set the stage for today’s jobs report; anything under 150,000 jobs gained would be considered bad. Mitt Romney called it devastating. In fact it was not quite as devastating as the 598,000 jobs lost in January 2009. The economy isn’t losing jobs, just not gaining enough. Nonfarm payroll employment in May increased by 69,000. The unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2%. This was a weak month, and the previous two months were revised down. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised from +154,000 to +143,000, and the change for April was revised from +115,000 to +77,000; combined that works out to 47,000 fewer jobs than originally reported. The Labor Force Participation Rate increased to 63.8% in May. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force. This means more people felt good enough about economic conditions to jump back into the labor market and look for a job; the bad news is that they didn’t find many jobs. The U6 rate, which measures unemployed and underemployed was 14.6%. JPMorgan reported today: “Taking down the US growth projection has almost become a summertime ritual, and in keeping with tradition we are shaving our 2012 GDP outlook (Q4/Q4) from 2.3% to 2.1%. Over the first five months …

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Thursday, May 31, 2012 – Jobs and the Food Chain – by Sinclair Noe

DOW – 26 = 12393SPX – 2= 1310NAS – 10 = 282710 YR YLD -.04 = 1.58%OIL +.04 = 86.57GOLD – 2.30 = 1561.20SILV – .22 = 27.81PLAT +15.00 = 1421.00 The S&P 500 index fell 6.3 percent in May, its largest percentage drop since September. The Dow’s 6.2 percent drop and Nasdaq’s 7.2 percent loss are their largest monthly declines in two years. Crude oil futures prices finished May with losses of 17%, their worst drop (or best, depending on your position) since December 2008, near the height of the U.S. financial crisis. Gold ended May with its fourth straight monthly decline – about 6%, the most in 12 years, and only slighly better than the S&P500. The troubles in Europe sent investors looking for the safe haven of the dollar and the dollar index gained 5.4% in May. The Euro finished the month at $1.233, down 7%. The Spanish market index, the Ibex25 is down 13%, Japan’s Nikkei is off 10%, and the Russian RTS is down 22% in May. The 10-year US Treasury note returned 1.6% for the month as yields dropped to historic low. If you think the markets are starting to resemble Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – you are correct. The VIX, the Volatility Index jumped 40%. We had a few economic reports, disappointing economic reports, however the big jobs report tomorrow will overshadow today’s news. The Commerce Department reports economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the first three months of …

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012 – Jobs Report, Euro Elections, California Budget, and Watching Paint Dry

DOW – 10 = 13,268SPX – 3 = 1402 NAS + 9 = 305910 YR YLD -.03 = 1.92OIL +.14 = 105.36GOLD – 8.50 = 1654.70SILV – .32 = 30.75PLAT – 9.00 = 1569.00 This is shaping up to be a wild weekend. Friday we get the jobs report. Then, in Europe there will be elections in France and Greece. On a personal note, I’m going to paint the patio on my house, so I’ll be watching paint dry, just to counterbalance the rest of the world. The monthly jobs report, already the most highly anticipated data of the month, will be getting a little extra attention this Friday after a disappointing report on GDP late last week. A bad jobs report and a weak GDP report might be enough to trigger another round of Quantitative Easing from the Federal Reserve. The economy is adding and will continue to add jobs; that is not in question. It is the rate of job growth. Expectations are that there were about 160k to 175k new jobs created in April, up from 120,000 in March, and an unemployment rate that remains steady at 8.2%. The lowball guesses are for only about 125k jobs. With the addition of 120,000 jobs, March marked the 15th straight month of jobs growth, but it broke a three-month streak in which the economy had added more than 200,000 jobs. Now we are only a couple days away from finding out whether March’s report was a fluke or the …

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