The Morning View: August 7, 2020

BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

In this morning’s data, the economy added 1,763,000 jobs in July, more than expected.  The Leisure & Hospitality and Retail Trade industries were strong, while the Information Services and Mining & Logging industries were weak.  The Unemployment Rate fell nine tenths to 10.2%, falling more than expected, which is partially attributable to a decrease in the labor force.  Average Hourly Earnings increased 0.2% and has increased 4.8% on an annual basis, again reflecting the nature of the jobs lost during the pandemic as well as a portion of those jobs returning.  Average Weekly Hours at 34.4 in July was unchanged from the previous month.  Overall, a decent report suggesting the labor market is hanging in there and not getting worse amidst the continued choppy economic re-opening process from COVID-19.  Meanwhile, congressional leaders continue to debate the details of another round of fiscal assistance, which will impact the direction of the economy in the near-term heading into the election cycle this fall.  In all, bond yields originally ticked higher following the report, but are now little changed and equity futures are lower as we head into the market open.

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