Week in Review
See ya on Monday!
Investors wind down a holiday-shortened week on Wall Street with Friday's employment data providing an encore fireworks display. Non-farm payrolls for June came in lower than expected at 121k vs. the 175k consensus. Keep in mind, Wednesday's release of the 4th tier ADP employment data had sent economists scurrying to revise forecasts. The unemployment rate stayed low at 4.6 percent. This was initially seen as a net positive for equities and yields. However, the wage data (average hourly earnings) rose 3.9 percent year-over-year, the biggest gain in five years. That's an issue we've highlighted in our recent work and we continue to feel this is a critical consideration of the overall inflation picture.
There are a number of cross currents facing the markets over the next several months. In addition to the economic equation (see Tuttle Asset Management's new product, On the Calendar) we have geopolitics, energy and earnings season to contend with. To reiterate, we continue to believe the markets and the economy are nearing a critical juncture. Keep your "Eye on the Ball" with our Morning Cup of 'Jo and watch your footing.
A budget standoff in the
North Korea tested several missiles as part of their feared ballistic missile program including a long-range Taepodong that was considered a failure after it exploded shortly after takeoff into the Sea of Japan . (Wed 5th)
3M Co. (MMM) warned Friday that second quarter earnings will miss expectations on lower sales volume. (Fri 7th)
Factory orders jumped by 0.7% in May well over the 0.1% increase that analysts were expecting. (Wed 5th)
Enron founder Kenneth Lay died of an apparent heart attack just several weeks after he was found guilty of defrauding investors and employees in one of the biggest scandals in corporate America. (Wed 5th)
Despite a recent slowdown in the economy, jobless claims fell by 2,000 compared to last week's figure.
In macroeconomic news, the Bank of Japan will raise interest rates to 0.25% from zero next week despite controversy among government officials. The European Central Bank is slated to hold interest rates steady this week but begin raising rates in August as
America Online, a division of Time Warner Inc. (TWX), is contemplating offering free services including email to customers who already have high-speed internet access. (Thurs 6th)
The National Association of Realtors reported a 1.3% rise in pending home sales. This was the first rise since January and a sign that the housing sector is stabilizing. (Thurs 6th)
The Florida Supreme Court overturned a $145 billion punitive damage award against tobacco companies. The award was the largest ever given by an American jury. (Thurs 6th)
Payrolls increased by a mild 121,000 in June well below the 175,000 estimate. However, hourly wage earnings jumped by a higher than expected 0.5%. (Fri 7th)
Market Movers: Winners and Sinners
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