Financial Review

Financial Review for Friday, May 02, 2014 – April Jobs Report

April Jobs Report by Sinclair Noe DOW – 45 = 16,512SPX – 2 = 1881NAS – 3 = 412310 YR YLD – .01 = 2.59%OIL + .57 = 99.99GOLD + 15.70 = 1301.60SILV + .44 = 19.56 Today is another Jobs Report Friday. We will go into quite a bit of detail here because really, most everything we talk about in regard to economics begins with work and jobs. It is my hope that you will join us here on the first Friday of each month to get your comprehensive, fact based coverage of the jobs report. Last month the economy added 288,000 net new jobs, and the unemployment rate dropped to 6.3%. April marked the biggest monthly gain in jobs since January 2012, when the economy added 360,000 jobs. Employment gains for February and March were revised higher by a combined 36,000; that raised the monthly average to 214,000 jobs a month since the start of the year. Through the first 4 months of 2014, the economy has added 857,000 payroll jobs, slightly better than the first 4 months of 2013, despite the harsh winter this year. In the current 58 month expansion, employers have added more than 200,000 jobs per month in 38% of the months. Current job creation performance is stronger than it was in the business-cycle expansion that occurred during the recovery in the early 2000s, even when a real estate construction bubble fueled growth.  Today’s job creation pace lags well behind previous recent economic recoveries, …

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Friday, April 04, 2014 – The March Jobs Report

The March Jobs Reportby Sinclair Noe DOW – 159 = 16,412SPX – 23 = 1865NAS – 110 = 4127 (-2.6%)10 YR YLD – .06 = 2.73%OIL + .77 = 101.06GOLD + 15.50 = 1303.30SILV + .14 = 20.06 Today is a jobs report Friday. Let’s get geeky. The Labor Department reported nonfarm payrolls increased by 192,000 jobs last month after rising by 197,000 in February (that’s revised from 175,000). The prior 2 months were revised to show 37,000 more jobs than previously estimated; the revisions indicate that the bad winter weather was not a huge problem for the labor market; it did have an effect but not huge, and we certainly shouldn’t hear any more weather related excuses. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7% as more people were looking for jobs. The consensus estimate was 200,000 jobs, so the figures were a little below expectations. Private employment rose to 116.09 million, finally moving beyond the previous high of 115.98 million recorded at the very start of the recession in January 2008.Total employment is just a little below the pre-financial crisis days; we still have about 437,000 fewer jobs than the peak in 2008, but private employment is now above the peak by 110,000 and at a new all-time high; the difference is that more than a half million government jobs have been cut during that time; also, the population and the labor force has grown over the past 6 years, so the unemployment rate remains fairly high. And the …

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Thursday, April 03, 2014 – Tomorrow, Tomorrow, It’s Only a Day Away

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, It’s Only a Day Away by Sinclair Noe DOW – 0.45 = 16,572SPX – 2 = 1888NAS – 38 = 423710 YR YLD – .01 = 2.79%OIL + .73 = 100.35GOLD – 3.10 = 1287.80SILV – .16 = 19.92 Forget about today; at least in terms of Wall Street trading. Tomorrow is more important. The first Friday of each month is always a big day because of the monthly jobs report; tomorrow, maybe more than most. The consensus estimates called for 200,000 net new jobs in March and the unemployment rate is expected to drop to 6.6% from 6.7%. Then there is the whisper number. Many people believe the harsh winter weather has held back hiring, like a balloon trapped under water by a thin sheet of ice, and when the ice melts, as it did in March, the balloon will jump out of the water like a salmon swimming upstream. Weather sensitive industries such as retail, construction and manufacturing might be especially strong performers. A March jobs report that shows a broad increase in hiring across most or all industries would show the economy is recovering and everything, including the Fed, is on track. A disappointing number, though, would bolster the case of the increasingly famished Wall Street bears that bad weather alone is not the source of weak economic growth so far in 2014. And if the number comes in right at expectations, we’ll have to go to the tiebreakers. We will look at the number …

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 – Behind the Curtain of the Mysterious Central Bankers

Behind the Curtain of the Mysterious Central Bankers by Sinclair Noe DOW – 114 = 16,222SPX – 11 = 1860NAS – 25 = 430710 YR YLD + .09 = 2.77%OIL + .67 = 100.37GOLD – 24.90 = 1331.60SILV – .20 = 20.71 Sometimes the stock market is a grand mystery, a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Sometimes the stock market is simple. Wall Street loves it when the Federal Reserve is throwing bags of money out of the helicopter that hovers over Wall Street. The traders get a little nervous when it looks like the free money might stop raining down on them. That doesn’t mean the Fed is stopping throwing money at Wall Street, just that traders are nervous. Today, the Fed FOMC wrapped up a two day meeting; they issued a statement; then Chairwoman Janet Yellen delivered a prepared statement; then she answered questions. The Fed statement indicated the Fed could and likely would continue with its low interest rate policy even after they reach their goals of full employment and 2% inflation. The central bank proceeded with its well-telegraphed reductions to its massive bond-buying stimulus, announcing it would cut its monthly purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to $55 billion from $65 billion per month. I will now attempt to translate the Fed statement from Fedspeak to English. The statement said: the labor market is getting better but unemployment is still too high, household and business spending is decent but the housing market is …

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Friday, February 07, 2014 – Jobs Report Friday

Jobs Report Friday By Sinclair Noe DOW + 165 = 15,794SPX + 23 = 1797NAS + 68 = 412510 YR YLD – .03 = 2.67%OIL + 2.21 = 100.05GOLD + 9.30 = 1268.10 SILV + .07 = 20.12 The best 2 days in a row for stocks in almost 4 months. For the week the Dow was up 97 points, and the S&P 500 was up 15 points on the week. The VIX, the volatility index slipped back down to 15, indicating a general happy go lucky outlook for stocks, with just the slightest hint that the past couple of days were part of a short squeeze; especially considering the lousy nature of the unemployment report. This is Jobs Report Friday and I tend to get a bit wonkish with the numbers but I think it is important economic data, so here goes. The Labor Department reported the economy added 113,000 jobs in January while the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 6.6%. The number of jobs added fell short of expectations; analysts had projected job growth of around 185,000. While weather was believed to have weighed on hiring in December, it did not appear to be a major factor last month. There were strong gains in the weather-sensitive construction sector, and while a survey of households found 262,000 Americans were unable to work due to the weather, the department said that was in line with historical trends. This comes on the heels of an even weaker December jobs report. Today’s …

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Friday, January 10, 2014 – Jobs Report Friday

Jobs Report Friday by Sinclair Noe DOW – 7 = 16,437SPX + 4 = 1842NAS + 18 = 417410 YR YLD – .10 = 2.86%OIL + 1.23 = 92.89GOLD + 20.90 = 1248.60SILV + .63 = 20.27 Jobs report Friday. The US economy created only 74,000 net new jobs in December. The number of jobs created was the lowest in 3 years and was well short of expectations for about 195,000 jobs. In the four months before December, the average number of jobs created in the US was 214,000 a month. The Labor Department said 38,000 more jobs in November were created than the 203,000 previously reported. And the unemployment rate dropped from 7% to 6.7%. If that doesn’t seem to add up, you are correct. The headline news that the unemployment rate dropped to 6.7% is not good. The problem is that a bunch of people fell out of the labor force, 347,000, to be exact. They stopped looking for work, which made them no longer “unemployed” in the eyes of the Bureau of Labor Statistics; they just become invisible. The Labor Force Participation Rate dropped from 63% in November to 62.8% in December. This is a measure of the working age population in the labor force. The participation rate is well below the 66% to 67% range that had been considered typical over the past 20 to 30 years. The participation rate has been dropping for the past 12 years. Part of the reason for the drop in …

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Friday, December 06, 2013 – The Goldilocks Job Report

The Goldilocks Job Report by Sinclair Noe DOW + 198 = 16,020SPX + 20 = 1805NAS + 29 = 406210 YR YLD – .02 = 2.85%OIL + .27 = 97.65GOLD + 5.60 = 1231.70SILV + .11 = 19.64 Big gains on Wall Street, the best in about a month. The monthly jobs report came out this morning. It was just a little better than expected; nothing earth shattering but decent. The economy generated 203,000 net new jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.0% from 7.3%. The unemployment rate is now at the lowest level since November 2008. So, this was a Goldilocks report, just good enough to indicate some strength but not so strong as to push the Federal Reserve to taper, to cut back on its monthly bond purchase program. Really, the Wall Street traders got the best possible report today. There is still a slight risk of a Fed taper in December, and we’ll talk about that more in a moment. Let’s dig into the numbers. Hiring in November was strong in most industries, including transportation and warehousing, professional occupations, manufacturing, health care, construction and retail. And there was a shift toward more well-paying jobs compared with October. The number of businesspeople and professionals who found work rose by 35,000 to lead the way. It has been the fastest-growing category over the past year. Companies that warehouse and deliver goods, meanwhile, hired 31,000 new workers; some of that gain may be seasonal. Manufacturers added 27,000 jobs, the biggest …

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Friday, November 08, 2013 – Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Friday

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Friday by Sinclair Noe DOW + 167 = 15,761SPX + 23 = 1770NAS + 61 = 391910 YR YLD + .14 = 2.74%OIL + .13 = 94.33GOLD – 19.10 = 1289.50SILV – .17 = 21.60 Another record high close for the Dow. For the week, the Dow rose 0.9 percent, the S&P 500 was up 0.5 percent while the Nasdaq was down 0.1 percent. Today was all about jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 204,000 in October and the unemployment rate increased from 7.2% to 7.3%. The 204,000 new jobs was much better than the estimates of about 120,000. Further, the numbers from previous months were revised higher; September was revised from 148,000 new jobs to 163,000 new jobs, and August was revised from 193,000 jobs up to 238,000; for a net gain of 60,000 upwardly revised jobs. So, why did the unemployment rate move higher? Part of this may have to do with the government shutdown and there might be a reversal in the November numbers. The furloughed government workers, at least some, were likely counted as unemployed with regard to the unemployment rate, but for the total number, that 204,000 number, those furloughed workers were not counted as unemployed. The problem with the unemployment rate is that the rate can fall even when the labor market conditions get worse. There are two possible reasons why the unemployment rate drops; either more jobless people find work, or more …

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Tuesday, October 2, 2013 – Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs by Sinclair Noe DOW + 75 = 15,467SPX + 10 = 1754NAS + 9 = 392910 YR YLD – .10 = 2.51%OIL – 1.57 = 98.11GOLD + 24.60 – 1342.20SILV + .47 = 22.81 The Labor Department reported the economy added 148,000 net new jobs in September. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from +104,000 to +89,000, and the change for August was revised from +169,000 to +193,000. With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 9,000 more than previously reported. The unemployment rate declined in September to 7.2% from 7.3% in August. This is the lowest level for the unemployment rate since November 2008. The Labor Force Participation Rate was unchanged in September at 63.2%. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force. The participation rate looks at the people who are actually in the labor pool. As the Boomer generation retires, willingly or not, they get out of the labor pool, and this is why we’ve seen the unemployment rate decline, even though the economy isn’t really doing a great job of adding jobs. There are 4.146 million workers who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks and still want a job. This was down from 4.290 million in August. This is generally trending down, but is still very high.  Long term unemployment remains one of the key labor problems in the US. Is the Affordable Care Act causing a surge in part-time employment? Apparently not. …

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Thursday, September 19, 2013 – Shine On You Crazy Dimons

Shine On You Crazy Dimons by Sinclair Noe DOW – 40 = 15,636SPX – 3 = 1722NAS + 5 = 378910 YR YLD +.06 = 2.75%OIL + .04 = 106.43GOLD – .20 = 1366.10SILV + .13 = 23.19 No taper, despite hints and great expectations. Having announced the intention to taper, ultimately, a few weeks later, the proposal was shelved. The reasons given were concerns about the strength of the economic recovery and the impact of high rates on the ability of an over-indebted world to continue to meet its obligations. All these factors were largely unchanged between the time of the original announcement and the repudiation. What did change was the taper tantrum, the unpleasant market reaction to the hint of taper. Bond yields rose sharply; the Fed’s tough talk has already led to a 140 basis point rise in 10-year Treasury yields, which would be roughly equivalent to six rate increases; that in turn resulted in pushing mortgage rates higher, putting a crimp in the housing recovery. Today we learned home sales were up. Sales of previously owned homes unexpectedly rose in August to the highest level in more than six years as buyers rushed to lock in interest rates before they jumped even higher. The labor “participation rate” dropped to 63.2% in July, the lowest level since the late 1970s. The rate for men is at an all-time low. The unemployment rate has been falling, but chiefly because so many people are giving up hope and dropping …

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