BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager
Announced this morning, Initial Jobless claims for the previous week fell by 8,000 to a total of 211,000 and have remained in the low 200k range since the start of 2018. Historically, amounts below 300k have been indicative of a healthy labor market. Today, the labor market is healthy as jobs are growing, albeit at a moderate pace in recent months, and the unemployment rate is low, at 3.6%. This strength has not yet completely fed through to higher wages and ultimately higher inflation in the overall economy, allowing the Federal Reserve to conduct their recent “mid-cycle” rate cut adjustment. As long as jobless claims remain low, the labor market should support slow and steady GDP growth in the months ahead. Meanwhile, the U.S. and China continue to announce some progress on trade negotiations, which pushed bond yields higher overnight and equity futures also higher heading into the market open.
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