A REASSURING JOBS REPORT
June was the best month for hiring since October. Employers added 287,000 new jobs to their payrolls last month; analysts polled by Bloomberg forecast a gain of 180,000. The headline unemployment rate rose to 4.9% in the Department of Labor’s latest report, a reflection of more Americans looking for work. The broader U-6 rate, including the underemployed, fell a tenth of a point to 9.6%.
STRONG SERVICE SECTOR GROWTH IN JUNE
Rising 3.6 points, the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing purchasing manager index came in at a June mark of 56.5. The index was last above 56 in November. Referencing the past relationship between the index and the overall health of the economy in its summary, ISM noted that a 56.5 reading for its services PMI has corresponded with annualized GDP growth of about 3.0%.
A 6-WEEK Winning STREAK FOR GOLD
The yellow metal rose another 1.5% last week, closing at a COMEX price of $1,358.40. Silver has also advanced for six consecutive weeks on the COMEX; it closed at $20.10 Friday, rising 2.6% in four days.
S&P 500 CLOSES JUST SHY OF ALL-TIME HIGH
Settling at 2,129.90 Friday, the index briefly surpassed its May 2015 record close of 2,130.82 in intraday trading. The index gained 1.27% during the abbreviated market week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added on 1.08% in four days to a July 8 close of 18,146.74, while the Nasdaq Composite improved 1.92% to end the week at 4,956.76. The past four trading days were not good for WTI crude – futures lost 7.3% in that span to a NYMEX close of $45.41 Friday.
THIS WEEK: Earnings season starts Monday with Alcoa reporting Q2 results. Tuesday offers earnings news from Fastenal and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Wednesday brings a new Federal Reserve Beige Book and earnings from CSX, Kinder Morgan, and Yum! Brands. Thursday, the June PPI and the latest initial jobless claims report complement earnings from BlackRock, Cintas, Delta Air Lines, JPMorgan Chase, and Progressive. On Friday, investors will interpret the June CPI, June industrial output and retail sales numbers, the initial July University of Michigan consumer sentiment index and earnings from Citigroup, U.S. Bancorp, and Wells Fargo.