US payroll data for August has just been released and the numbers aren’t good. Total US job creation fell to 151,000 last month, significantly below expectations of 180,000. The numbers are also way below last month’s blowout revised figure of 275,000. August does have a history of disappointing jobs numbers, but the new data may mean that a possible Fed rate hike next month will be delayed. Markets had been increasingly accepting the chances for a rate hike in September, but this might reverse market positioning. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.9%, while US wage gains slowed to 0.1% from 0.3% last month.

FINSUM: These numbers are not terrible by any means, but they do seem to a show a slowing economy rather than a rising one, which may deter the Fed.

Source: Reuters


The US economy continues to confound today, as new data shows that hiring once again surged in July, with 255,000 new jobs created in July versus expectations of just 180,000. The big gains follow very strong June numbers which were revised higher to 292,000. Hourly wages are increasing at a 2.6% annual clip and the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9%. The data comes following a dismal GDP report which showed the US was growing only around 1%, marking the third straight quarter of poor growth.

FINSUM: The market has been feeling “on again off again” about the Fed, and with these strong numbers it is now seeming more likely that a Fed hike in the near term might be possible.

Source: Reuters


For at least a few months the correlation between stocks and oil seemed to have been broken. However, as oil has recently moved sharply lower, briefly touching the $39 range, that correlation may be rising again. The oil market is currently plagued by a new kind of glut—refined products. It is key to remember that refineries, which turn oil into products like gasoline, are the only buyers of crude oil, and currently, they are cutting back. The market is presently seeing a huge glut of gasoline which has slowed down refinery buying, weakening the prospects for crude oil.

FINSUM: If oil continues to move lower, it could start to once again drag stocks down with it, though hopefully investors are sharp enough to realize that the issues are not necessarily representative of a doomed global economy.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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