Global stock markets continued to hit new highs. The S&P 500 eclipsed its previous high and rose 1.0% for the week. Global stocks also hit new highs as the MSCI All Country World Index rose 1.1%. Bonds posted healthy gains, rising 0.5% as reflected by the Bloomberg BarCap U.S. Aggregate Bond Index.
The Non-farm payroll data for May missed expectations as new job creation came in significantly lower than expected (138K v. an estimated 185K), Average hourly earnings rose a healthy 2.4%, from a year earlier and the unemployment rate dipped to 4.3%. The slower job growth in the government’s data contrasted with ADP’s report that 253K jobs were added in May.
President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate was met with mixtures of support and criticism. While the variance in reaction was large, the environmental effect of the decision is expected to be small. Low natural gas prices, lower gas usage, and improving renewable energy efficiency continue to support declining emissions.
Friday’s election in the United Kingdom is being influenced by a terror attack over the weekend. Polls have narrowed in recent weeks, but Theresa May is still expected to gain some support from voters in advance of Brexit negotiations with the European Union.
What are we reading?
Below are some areas of the market we paid particularly close attention to this week. For further information, we encourage our readers to follow the links:
The US non-farm payroll increased 138,000 compared against a consensus estimate of 185,000 and 174,000 in April. Unemployment rate, surprisingly, declined while average weekly hours remained unchanged on a month on month basis. Average hourly earnings rose a healthy 2.4% over the last twelve months.
Job creation, as measured by ADP, increased significantly, indicating that the unemployment rate is expected to remain low. The report comes at a time when labor markets are believed to be reaching full employment and a growing skepticism among economists about the Trump administration’s ability to reach the 3% GDP growth target.
After months of debate, the Trump administration has decided to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement. Political reaction was strong from both sides of the argument. While treaties are important, social pressure, abundant natural gas, improved fuel efficiency, and greater use of renewable energy are all reducing the upward trend in emissions.
The Labor party has been gaining in the polls, making the elections this week less certain. Labor’s improving results raise the possibility that Prime Minister May’s gamble to call early elections may not help her much. That being said, polling data in the most recent elections has overestimated Labor’s support and current polls may be right in line with past results.
Fun Story of the Week
Don’t miss your daily workouts if you are looking for a job. Some firms are conducting “walking interviews” (the less mobile of us call them hikes) instead of the traditional sit down format. One applicant’s first interview involved a weight lifting and cardiovascular workout that left him sore for days. The second interview took place in a boxing gym. Another applicant had her one-hour walking interview occur while she was wearing heels. She wasn’t interested in the job. It’s probably hard to feel good about a company while nursing your blisters.
This newsletter was written and produced by CWM, LLC. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of CWM, LLC and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change with notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
S&P 500 INDEX
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a capitalization weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.
MSCI ACWI INDEX
The MSCI ACWI captures large and mid-cap representation across 23 Developed Markets (DM) and 23 Emerging Markets (EM) countries*. With 2,480 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the global investable equity opportunity set.
Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index
The Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is an index of the U.S. investment-grade fixed-rate bond market, including both government and corporate bonds.