August 8, 2016

SP 500 at New High After Jobs Blowout

“SP 500 at New High After Jobs Blowout”, WEEKLY UPDATE – August 8, 2016 Stocks bounced last week, ending sharply higher after a better-than-expected jobs report. For the week, the SP 500 gained 0.43%, the Dow rose 0.60%, the NASDAQ added 1.14%, but the MSCI EAFE lost 1.41%.[1] SP 500 Among last week’s major events was a shockingly good July jobs report. Last month, the economy added 255,000 new jobs, blowing away expectations of 180,000 jobs.[2] Even better, the gains were broad-based and the labor force participation rate (an area of concern because fewer people in our population were actively participating in the labor force) ticked upward.[3] Overall, not too shabby. Headline unemployment remained stable at 4.9%, but that single number hides a lot of complexity. Let’s dig a little deeper. The chart below shows six different measures of unemployment, each slicing the data in a different way. The U-6 unemployment rate is the most comprehensive, showing total unemployed, marginally attached workers (discouraged workers and those considered barely employed) and those total employed part time for economic reasons.[4] You can see that all measures rose during the recession and have been steadily dropping ever since. While headline unemployment (U-3 unemployment in official […]