What I Think I Learned Last Week #10
Last week saw the S&P 500 posted its longest streak of record-high closes in 20 years.
The US economy lost 33,000 jobs in September, its first month of lost jobs since 2010, but the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.2% and average hourly earnings rose 0.5% compared to expectations for just a 0.3% rise. Hurricanes were blamed for the unusual and unexpected jobs report.
The strong wage growth boosted market estimates of the odds of a December Fed interest rate hike to 90%.
US ISM manufacturing number for September rose above 60, its highest level since 2004. The US ISM service index was also strong, reaching its highest level since 2005.
The strong numbers, especially wage growth, helped the US dollar hit a ten week high. Then rumors of a possible North Korea nuclear test or missile launch weakened the dollar going into the weekend.
French newspaper Le Monde reports that Amazon is looking for 15 store locations in France within the next two years.
According to the Institute of International Finance, last week emerging markets saw their biggest weekly outflow since the Trump election.
Catalonia’s independence vote and Spanish riot police response continued to roil Spanish markets this week as the main stock index dropped to 2½ year lows and the euro weakened.
Three Americans won Nobel prizes for medicine. I know, Americans winning Nobel prizes isn’t really news; it’s more like an expectation.
Biotech company Bioptix changed its name to Riot Blockchain and its stock price is surging. That is indeed a riot!
Turkey’s inflation rate hit 11.2% in September and is expected to reach 11.5% by th end of the year, the government’s statistics agency said.
The US National Retail Federation is forecasting holiday sales this year 3.6% to 4% above those in 2016 and retailers are expected to hire between 500,000 and 550,000 seasonal workers for the upcoming holiday season.
Saudi Arabia and Russia will continue to work together to stabilize oil prices.
The EU continues to attack American success stories, ordering Amazon to pay €250 million for back taxes and requiring Ireland, even though they don’t want to, to collect €13 billion in taxes from Apple.
Margarita Zavala resigned from Mexico’s PAN party. She will run as an independent candidate for President. While popular, she runs the risk of splitting the centrist vote and increasing the odds of leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador winning next year’s election.
Brazil’s inflation rate continued to decelerate, falling to 2.5% and below the central bank’s target range of 3%-6%.
And that’s what I think I learned last week….