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Economic Update 05/08/17



Unemployment hit a 10-year low in April as payrolls swelled with 211,000 net new jobs, a rebound from the meager gains of March. The Department of Labor’s monthly report showed the headline jobless rate declining 0.1% to 4.4%; the U-6 rate measuring underemployment was at 8.6%, falling 0.3%. The latest consumer spending report from the Department of Commerce was less impressive. Personal spending was flat in March, with personal incomes up 0.2%.


America’s factory sector grew at a slower rate last month than it did during March, while the country’s service sector picked up its pace of expansion. The Institute for Supply Management’s April purchasing manager index dipped to 54.8 from its previous 57.2 mark; ISM’s non-manufacturing PMI rose 2.3 points in April to 57.5.


As expected, the central bank left the benchmark interest rate in the 0.75-1.00% target range last week. The Federal Open Market Committee felt that the poor economic growth of the first quarter was likely “transitory,” and in its view, economic activity should “expand at a moderate pace” with “gradual” monetary policy adjustments. On May 5, Fed futures traders put the odds of a June rate hike at 79%.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached another milestone Friday, settling at 21,006.94 after rising 0.32% on the week. Slightly better 5-day performances were posted by the Nasdaq Composite (+0.88% to 6,100.76) and the S&P 500 (+0.63 to 2,399.29). Small caps lost 0.25% for the week – the Russell 2000 closed at 1,397.00 Friday. During the past five market days, the CBOE VIX retreated 2.31% to 10.57.

THIS WEEK: Investors will keep an eye on France’s national election Monday, and review earnings from Sysco and Tyson Foods. On Tuesday, earnings roll in from Allergan, Discovery Communications, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Wednesday features earnings from Dillard’s, NetEase, Snap, Sotheby’s, Spectra Energy, Symantec, Wendy’s, and Whole Foods. Thursday offers the federal government’s latest reading on wholesale inflation, a new initial jobless claims report, and earnings from Kohl’s, Macy’s, and Nordstrom. April retail sales and consumer inflation data appear Friday, plus the University of Michigan’s initial May consumer sentiment index and earnings news from JCPenney.

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About the Independent Financial Advisor

Robert Pagliarini, PhD, CFP®, EA has helped clients across the United States manage, grow, and preserve their wealth for the past 25 years. His goal is to provide comprehensive financial, investment, and tax advice in a way that was honest and ethical. In addition, he is a CFP® Board Ambassador, one of only 50 in the country, and a real fiduciary. In his spare time, he writes personal finance books, finance articles for Forbes and develops email and video financial courses to help educate others. With decades of experience as a financial advisor, the media often calls on him for his expertise. Contact Robert today to learn more about his financial planning services.

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