By Fred Arnold
Wow – a fairly uneventful week in the markets, until FRIDAY!!! The stock market had gradual increases throughout the week on some mildly positive news about unemployment and jobless claims. That all came to a screeching halt on FRIDAY morning!!!
Unemployment was the big headline on Wednesday and Thursday talking about the ADP Payroll Report and weekly First Time Jobless Claims.
On Wednesday ADP released their unemployment report with the expectation that economy added 157,000 jobs. The stock market liked the report and reacted with a moderate increase. Then on Thursday first time jobless claims dropped from 432,000 to 418,000, and as expected, talk of an improving employment picture resurfaced on the business news channels. Once again, the stock market liked that news as well. And then there was FRIDAY!!! This morning the government released the national unemployment figures, and to almost everyone’s surprise, the unemployment rate rose .1% to 9.2%.
We have not had first time jobless claims below 400,000 for almost 2 consecutive months. When you have that many people losing their jobs and almost all of the other economic reports showing the economy growing at a very slow pace, there is no way the employment picture can improve. If you look at the last few years of the unemployment rate, you will see that at no time when first time jobless claims were significantly over 400,000, has the national unemployment rate ever dropped.
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On the real estate front, the recent climb in mortgage rates stabilized this week with rates remaining virtually unchanged until Friday’s poor employment report which caused rates to drop about 1/8%.
Next week the focus will be on reports which may provide information on the direction of the economic recovery. Between the inflation reports, retail sales and industrial production, these will all be solid indicators as to where the economy is headed in the near future.
Economic Reports on tap for next week:
o Tuesday July 12th – FOMC Minutes
o Wednesday July 13th –MBA Mortgage Applications
o Thursday July 14th – First Time Jobless Claims, Retail Sales and Producer Price Index
o Friday July 15th – Consumer Price Index and Industrial Production
Have a great weekend.
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