S&P500 +3.54%(2,786.57); NASDAQ +4.17% (7,560.81); DJIA +3.25% (25,335.74)
This week’s reports:
- February’s Unemployment Rate remained unchanged from January’s 4.1%, its fifth month at that level. Non-Farm Payrolls surged +313K, their biggest increase since mid-2016, from January’s +239K.
- Labor Force Participation Rate rose to 63.0% from January’s 62.7%.
- February’s Average Weekly Hours rose to 34.5 from January’s 34.3. Average Hourly Earnings rose 0.1% from January’s +0.3%. Year-on-year, earnings rose 2.6% versus January’s +2.8%.
- Q4 2017 Unit Labor Costs rose 2.5% from Q3’s +2.0%. Non-farm Productivity remained unchanged from Q3’s -0.1%.
- January’s Consumer Credit rose $13.91B from December’s increase of $19.21B. January’s increase was the smallest in four month as a result of a slowdown in growth of the revolving debt.
- February’s Markit Services PMI remained unchanged from January’s 55.9. Composite PMI declined to 55.8 from January’s 55.9.
- February’s ISM Non-Manufacturing Index declined to 59.5 from January’s 59.9.
- January’s Factory Orders fell 1.4% from December’s +1.8%.
- January’s Wholesale Inventories rose 0.8% from December’s +1.2%.
- Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending March 2nd rose by 21K to 231K. Continuing Jobless Claims for the week ending February 23rd fell by 64K to 1,870K.
- US stocks surged as the jobs report signaled the labor market remains strong and will keep driving economic growth, while weaker wage growth figures cooled down concerns of inflation and faster rate hikes by the Fed. Shares also got a boost from news President Trump accepted an invitation to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which followed a narrower-than-expected tariff plan from the White House Thursday that eased speculation of a trade war.
- The Nasdaq Composite Index rallied to a fresh record Friday, capping an 11% gain since its Feb. 8 low as investors poured back into the nine-year old bull market’s biggest winners. Tech earnings are forecast to rise 31% in 2018.