Can you believe it’s August already? The jobs data for last month was released today and it caught some off guard. Many were expecting (or hoping) that the unemployment rate would continue to drop, as it has been trending that way over the past several months.
Instead, unemployment rose to 6.2% from 6.1% and the total number of jobs added to the economy was 209,000. The consensus was for the economy to have added 220,000 new jobs. The stock market had a fairly volatile week compared to what we’ve witnessed so far this summer. Today the markets were down, perhaps somewhat attributable to this data, while bonds were up, with the 10 yr Treasury yielding 2.50%.
The reality is that this news caused some short term traders to have to cover and adjust some of their trades, but for the Fed and individual investors, it has little impact. As I wrote yesterday, these data points are not unimportant, but they aren’t actionable new items. As you can clearly see on the chart below, the overall trend is intact and the economy is getting better, it’s just at the same slow pace we’ve witnessed the past couple years.