HIRING REBOUNDS IN APRIL
Employers added 223,000 new jobs last month, the Labor Department noted Friday. That news made the March payroll gain of 85,000 look like an aberration. The main jobless rate fell to a 7-year low of 5.4% in April, and the U-6 rate tracking the total unemployed ticked down to 10.8%; the population of people out of work for six months or longer fell by 38,000 to 2.5 million, representing 29% of the total unemployed. Wages were up 2.2% year-over-year.
SERVICE SECTOR PMI REACHES 5-MONTH PEAK
Rising to 57.8 for April, the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index displayed its best reading since November. A 4.1% upturn in business activity was instrumental in the gain.
CRUDE OIL NEARS $60 ON THE NYMEX
Last week’s 0.5% advance took oil prices to a Friday settlement of $59.46. A key factor: the federal government announced a weekly inventory dip of 3.9 million barrels. In precious metals, gold gained 1.2% last week, with futures closing Friday at $1,188.00; silver advanced 2.1% for the week, platinum 1.2% and palladium 3.7%. In contrast, copper prices retreated 0.3%.
STRONG JOBS REPORT RESCUES WALL STREET’S WEEK
A Friday rally sent the major indices north. As the trading day ended, the Dow closed at 18,191.11, the Nasdaq at 5,003.55 and the S&P 500 at 2,116.10. Across five days, the Dow went +0.93%, the Nasdaq -0.04% and the S&P +0.37%.
THIS WEEK: Euro area finance ministers begin a 2-day meeting Monday; stateside, Dean Foods and DISH Network present Q1 results. GoDaddy announces Q1 results Tuesday. Wednesday offers April retail sales numbers and the latest readings of euro area GDP and industrial output for both the euro area and China; also, earnings arrive from Abercrombie & Fitch, J. C. Penney, Macy’s, Ralph Lauren and Shake Shack. Thursday, the April Producer Price Index and the latest initial jobless claims report complement earnings from Applied Materials, El Pollo Loco, Jack in the Box, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Perry Ellis and Symantec. Friday, the University of Michigan’s initial May consumer sentiment index appears along with the Federal Reserve’s report on April industrial production.