Economic Update 02/06/2017

POSITIVES & NEGATIVES IN JANUARY’s JOB DATA

The Department of Labor’s latest jobs report showed 227,000 net new hires last month. Unfortunately, wages grew just 0.1% in January as the headline jobless rate rose slightly to 4.8%. The U-6 rate, counting the underemployed, rose 0.2% to 9.4%.

STRONG CONSUMER CONFIDENCE & SPENDING

While the Conference Board’s monthly consumer confidence index declined 1.5 points in January, it remained at a high level with a 111.8 reading. Personal spending improved 0.5% in December, with personal incomes up 0.3%.

ISM INDICES SHOW FURTHER SECTOR EXPANSION

The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing manager indices were at high levels in January. ISM’s factory index gained 1.5 points to 56.0. Its service sector gauge ticked down 0.1 points to 56.5, but that still signaled solid growth.

DODD-FRANK ACT FACES A REVIEW

Through an executive order issued Friday, President Donald Trump authorized a review of this law aimed at regulating activities of big banks. According to the New York Times, the directive also calls for major sections of Dodd-Frank to be revised.

MINOR PROGRESS FOR THE S&P 500

The Federal Reserve stood pat on interest rates, bank shares rose on the Dodd-Frank news, and January hiring totals exceeded forecasts. These developments helped stocks make small weekly gains. In five days, the S&P 500 rose 0.12% to 2,297.42, and the Nasdaq 0.11%, to 5,666.77. The Dow lost 0.11% to settle at 20,071.46 Friday.

THIS WEEK: CNA Financial, Hasbro, Loews Corp., Sysco, Tesoro, 21st Century Fox, and Tyson Foods announce earnings Monday. Tuesday’s earnings roll call features results from Akamai, Aramark, Archer Daniels Midland, Buffalo Wild Wings, Container Store, General Motors, Genworth Financial, Gilead Sciences, Lennox, Michael Kors, Mosaic, NETGEAR, O’Reilly, Panera Bread, Penske, Spirit Airlines, Take-Two Interactive, Vulcan Materials, and Walt Disney Co. Wednesday, earnings emerge from Alaska Air, Allergan, Exelon, GlaxoSmithKline, Goodyear, Humana, Prudential Financial, Time Warner, W.R. Grace, and Whole Foods. New initial claims numbers arrive Thursday, plus earnings from Activision Blizzard, Advance Auto Parts, Beazer, Coca-Cola, Cummins, CVS Health, Dunkin’ Brands, Expedia, Gannett, Kellogg, Kemper, NCR, Nvidia, Occidental Petroleum, Pandora, Skechers, Twitter, Viacom, Western Union, Yelp, Yum! Brands, and Zynga. Friday, the University of Michigan’s latest household sentiment index appears, plus Q4 results from CBRE Group.

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