Reviewing the Jobs ReportOn Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that we added 200,000 new jobs in January and beat expectations. Average hourly wages also increased, bringing 2.9% growth in the past 12 months – the largest rise since 2008-2009.
Analyzing the ReactionWhen labor data came out, bond yields jumped and 10-year Treasury yields hit their highest level in 4 years. Stocks sank in reaction to these interest rate gains. Concerns about inflation are fueling this reaction. As wages grow, companies may increase their prices to support their rising labor costs – contributing to an inflationary cycle. With inflation can come rising interest rates. As a result of this news, some investors became concerned that the Federal Reserve may increase interest rates this year more than initially expected.
Putting the Performance in PerspectiveAfter the unusually calm market environment we experienced in 2017, last week’s declines may feel unsettling. However, price fluctuations are normal and the economy continues to be strong. In addition, as domestic indexes reach high levels, viewing their declines in terms of points, rather than percentages, can cause unnecessary concern. You may have read reports that the Dow dropped 665.75 points on Friday, contributing to its 6th biggest points decline in history. But even after losing nearly 1100 points in 5 days, the Dow was only down 4.12% for the week and remained up 3.24% for the year. Of course, every economic environment has risks, and no market can go up forever. We are aware of the risks that increasing inflation and interest rates may bring, and we are here to help you navigate what the future holds.
ECONOMIC CALENDARMonday: ISM Non-Mfg Index Tuesday: International Trade Wednesday: EIA Petroleum Status Report Thursday: Jobless Claims
Quote Of The Week
“Fortune sides with him who dares.” – Virgil