BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager
Announced this morning, the economy added 266,000 jobs in November, well above forecasts. Additions occurred in manufacturing, health care, and motor vehicles, given the adjustments from the recent auto strike. The unemployment rate ticked lower one tenth to 3.5% and Average Hourly Earnings increased 0.2% for November and 3.1% on an annual basis. Furthermore, Average Weekly Hours worked remained at 34.4. Overall, a strong headline number highlighting a stable job market, with low unemployment and moderate wage increases. With the Federal Reserve currently on hold with respect to interest rate policy, the labor market continues to support steady, moderate economic growth in the months ahead. Meanwhile, the back and forth trade negotiations between the U.S. and China remain in focus for the markets as the upcoming December 15th deadline for additional tariffs looms. In all, bond yields ticked higher following the report and equity futures are also higher heading into the market open.
This material is intended to be for informational purposes only and is intended for current or prospective clients of Argent Trust Company. This information is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, and its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. Information does not constitute a recommendation of any investment strategy, is not intended as investment advice and does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor. Forward-looking assumptions are Argent Trust Company’s current estimates or expectations of future events or future results based on proprietary research and should not be construed as an estimate or promise of results that a portfolio may achieve. Actual results could differ materially from the results indicated by this information. Investments can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.