EMPLOYERS ADD JUST 126,000 JOBS IN MARCH
What led to this moderation in hiring, which snapped a yearlong streak of payrolls expanding by 200,000 or more per month? Are dollar strength and low oil prices now hampering corporate profits? Did the weather have an impact? Whatever the underlying causes, the Labor Department’s March report was a disappointment. The jobless rate remained at 5.5% last month, with the broader U-6 rate including the underemployed and those out of the labor force at 10.9%. The Labor Department revised January and February job gains down by a total of 69,000.1
A NICE GAIN IN CONSUMER CONFIDENCE
The Conference Board’s respected monthly index rose to 101.3 for March, 2.5 points higher than its (revised) February reading. That contrasted with the forecast of analysts surveyed by Briefing.com, who saw it slipping to 96.4.2
WAGES GROW 0.4% IN MARCH
Investors and economists welcomed this development, presented last week in the Commerce Department’s February personal spending report. Household spending increased an unimpressive 0.1% in February, but that was better than the 0.2% retreat that came with falling fuel prices in January.2
TWO REAL ESTATE INDICATORS BEAT FORECASTS
January’s S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed an overall 4.6% annualized gain, and the National Association of Realtors announced a 3.1% rise in its pending home sales index for March. Analysts at Briefing.com projected a 4.5% yearly advance for the Case-Shiller and a 2.5% fall for home sale contracts.2
S&P, DOW ADVANCE IN SHORT TRADING WEEK
Both indices posted the exact same 4-day gain of 0.30%. Wall Street was closed for Good Friday, and that delayed the possibility of a selloff linked to concerns over March hiring. The Nasdaq lost just 0.09% last week. Where did these indices settle Thursday? DJIA, 17,763.24; S&P, 2,066.96; NASDAQ, 4,886.94.3,4
THIS WEEK: ISM releases its March service sector index Monday. Nothing major is slated for Tuesday. Earnings season begins Wednesday with announcements from Rite Aid, Family Dollar, Bed Bath & Beyond, WD-40, Pier 1 and Alcoa; the Federal Reserve will also publish minutes from its March policy meeting. Earnings from PriceSmart, Constellation Brands and Ruby Tuesday arrive Thursday, plus new initial jobless claims figures and data on February wholesale inventories. Friday, China issues its latest inflation reading.
% CHANGE Y-T-D 1-YR CHG 5-YR AVG 10-YR AVG
DJIA -0.34 +7.18 +12.51 +7.05
NASDAQ +3.19 +15.32 +20.68 +14.54
S&P 500 +0.39 +9.43 +15.09 +7.57
REAL YIELD 4/3 RATE 1 YR AGO 5 YRS AGO 10 YRS AGO
10 YR TIPS 0.02% 0.66% 1.69% 1.79%
Sources: online.wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 4/3/154,5,6,7
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
– Alvin Toffler
Money is never an end in itself, merely a tool that can help you reach your goals. Linking your financial goals with your life goals may lead to improved control of your business and personal finances.
How do you spell “hard water” using only three letters?
Last week’s riddle:
A man bet his neighbor that his dog could jump higher than his neighbor’s hedge. The neighbor accepted the bet and lost. Why?
Last week’s answer:
A hedge can’t jump.
1 – cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2015/04/us_adds_only_126000_jobs_in_ma.html [4/3/15]
2 – briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/2015/03/30-03 [4/3/15]
3 – google.com/finance?q=INDEXDJX%3A.DJI&ei=8eYeVfPXHKfSiAK384Fw [4/3/15]
4 – markets.wsj.com/us [4/2/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=4%2F3%2F14&x=0&y=0 [4/3/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=4%2F3%2F14&x=0&y=0 [4/3/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=4%2F3%2F14&x=0&y=0 [4/3/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=4%2F1%2F10&x=0&y=0 [4/3/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=4%2F1%2F10&x=0&y=0 [4/3/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=4%2F1%2F10&x=0&y=0 [4/3/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=4%2F4%2F05&x=0&y=0 [4/3/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=4%2F4%2F05&x=0&y=0 [4/3/15]
5 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=4%2F4%2F05&x=0&y=0 [4/3/15]
6 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [4/3/15]
7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [4/3/15]
This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., for Mark Lund, Mark is known as The 401k Advisor, Investor Coach, The Financial Advisor, The Financial Planner and author of The Effective Investor. Mark offers investment advisory services through Stonecreek Wealth Advisors, Inc. an independent, fee-only, Registered Investment Advisor firm providing 401k consulting for small businesses and financial Advisor services for professional athletes and individuals. Stonecreek is located in Salt Lake City, Murray, West Jordan, Sandy, Draper, South Jordan, Provo, Orem, Lehi, Highland, Alpine, and American Fork in Utah.