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The Clues Within November Jobs Report - December 08, 2014

| December 08, 2014
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Markets ended the first week of December with a bang, rallying for the seventh straight week, though the Nasdaq gave in to selling pressure and closed slightly down. Investors used an upbeat November jobs report as an excuse to rally, giving the Dow another record close for the year. For the week, the S&P 500 added 0.38%, the Dow grew 0.73%, but the Nasdaq fell 0.23%.[1]

The November jobs report showed that the economy gained 321,000 new jobs last month, though the unemployment rate held steady at 5.8%. Job growth was widespread, showing improvement in several sectors of the economy.[2]

Another report supported the view that the labor market is making great strides. Americans quit their jobs in greater numbers in September than in any period since April 2008. Voluntary separations are a sign of increased dynamism in the labor market as workers quit to take advantage of better opportunities. Young employees are among the most aggressive job-switchers; many that were forced to take low-paying jobs early in the recovery are taking better positions. Employers, who have long held the upper hand, are scrambling to keep key workers, and recruitment for many in-demand areas is up.[3]

What does this mean for the economy? Hopefully, higher incomes, increased upward mobility, and higher consumer spending. We may also see increased demand in the housing market as household formation among young Americans - which dropped precipitously during the recession - picks up.[4]

Black Friday numbers came in last week and showed that spending over the Thanksgiving weekend unexpectedly dropped about 12% over last year.[5] While the results are quite puzzling, given the general improvement in consumer fundamentals, research shows that Black Friday trends are not strongly correlated with overall holiday season shopping.[6] Though the early numbers are a bit of a disappointment, there's still room for a solid retail season.

ECONOMIC CALENDAR:

Tuesday: JOLTS
Wednesday: EIA Petroleum Status Report, Treasury Budget
Thursday: Jobless Claims, Retail Sales, Import and Export Prices, Business Inventories
Friday: PPI-FD, Consumer Sentiment

Notes: All index returns exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. Sources: Yahoo! Finance and Treasury.gov. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Corporate bond performance is represented by the DJCBP. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

HEADLINES:

Gas prices fall below $2.00/gallon. Pump prices for regular unleaded plummeted across the nation, dropping below $2.00/gallon in Oklahoma. With prices this low, the spread between area prices is growing; Hawaiians have the highest average prices at $3.883.[7]

Factory orders fall for third straight month. New orders for factory goods fell in October for the third month in a row, indicating that manufacturing activity may have slowed down in the fourth quarter.[8]

Federal Reserve Beige Book report optimistic about economy. The Fed's assessment of economic conditions across the country in October and November shows important gains in business conditions and employment, though the housing market remains an area of concern.[9]

Black Friday deal making drives auto sales. U.S. sales of light vehicles grew 5% year-over-year in November, driven by attractive deals, lower gas prices, and increasing wages. Though the November volume may chip away at December sales, the fundamentals are in place for a solid quarter for automakers.[10]


These are the views of Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative, Broker dealer or Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.


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The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia.

The Dow Jones Corporate Bond Index is a 96-bond index designed to represent the market performance, on a total-return basis, of investment-grade bonds issued by leading U.S. companies. Bonds are equally weighted by maturity cell, industry sector, and the overall index.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are the leading measures of U.S. residential real estate prices, tracking changes in the value of residential real estate. The index is made up of measures of real estate prices in 20 cities and weighted to produce the index.

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  1. http://goo.gl/9IOen5
  2. http://www.cnbc.com/id/102243210
  3. http://www.cnbc.com/id/102242847
  4. http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/
  5. https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/
  6. http://www.businessinsider.com/
  7. http://www.cnbc.com/id/102243855
  8. http://www.cnbc.com/id/102243404
  9. http://www.cnbc.com/id/102236679
  10. http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/156146/
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