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Market Commentary: Amid High Worker Demand, Job Openings Rise to 10.9 Million

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Amid High Worker Demand, Job Openings Rise to 10.9 Million

July job openings increased to 10.9 million, up 779,000 from June. The record number suggests weaker August job growth was partly related to a low supply of workers and demand for workers remains robust.

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Market Commentary: U.S. Job Creation Slows, Emergency Unemployment Benefits Expire For 7.5 Million People

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: U.S. Job Creation Slows, Emergency Unemployment Benefits Expire For 7.5 Million People

 The U.S. economy produced just 235,000 new jobs in August, missing expectations of 725,000. Unemployment dipped to 5.2%. Average hourly earnings rose 0.6%, partly because wages continue to rise more rapidly compared to the pre-pandemic pace.

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Market Commentary: Fed Chair Signals Reduction in Bond-Buying Program; S&P 500 Reaches Another All-Time High

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Fed Chair Signals Reduction in Bond-Buying Program; S&P 500 Reaches Another All-Time High

 Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell joined the chorus of Fed officials signaling the U.S. central bank would reduce its bond-buying program designed to keep long-term interest rates low and sustain the economy during the pandemic. After two strong jobs reports and generally positive economic news, Fed officials seem ready to reduce bond purchases later this year.

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Market Commentary: S&P 500 Doubles From Its Pandemic Low; U.S. Retail Sales Decline

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: S&P 500 Doubles From Its Pandemic Low; U.S. Retail Sales Decline

The benefits provided by recent stimulus packages seem to be fading. U.S. retail sales dipped 1.1% last month and have now declined in two of the last three months [Figure 1]. Declines in motor vehicle and online purchases led the fall. Restaurant sales grew 1.7% in July and continue to rebound. Federal Reserve minutes indicated the economy looks strong enough for the central bank to taper bond purchases in coming months.

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Market Commentary: Inflation Surge Loses Steam, Job Openings Continue to Increase

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Inflation Surge Loses Steam, Job Openings Continue to Increase

Core inflation moderated significantly last month, rising only 0.3% after jumping 0.9% in June. Used vehicle prices, which rose 10.2% in June, increased only 0.2% in July. Core CPI excludes food and energy prices, which rose 0.7% and 1.5% respectively. Those two categories propelled overall inflation 0.5% higher, down from 0.9% last month.

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Market Commentary: Restaurants, Bars Lead Hiring Surge as Unemployment Drops, Wages Rise

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Restaurants, Bars Lead Hiring Surge as Unemployment Drops, Wages Rise

 A strong U.S. employment report was the top market event last week. Payrolls surged 943,000, and the prior two months were revised higher by 119,000 (Figure 1). Restaurants and bars continue to rehire workers as activity expands. The leisure and hospitality segment, which includes eating establishments, added 380,000 jobs.

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Market Commentary: Supply Chain Issues Negatively Affected GDP and Housing in Q2, June

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Supply Chain Issues Negatively Affected GDP and Housing in Q2, June

 Supply chain issues continued to constrain economic growth and housing. U.S. GDP grew 6.5% in the second quarter, falling 2.0% short of expectations. Strong consumer demand created a surge in purchases. Production didn’t match demand, and the corresponding drop in inventories robbed more than 1% of GDP growth. Housing demand slowed as well last month. Shortages of appliances along with higher interest rates and prices are pressuring demand for housing.

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Market Commentary: Economy Reacts to Recent Upward Trends in COVID Cases, Unemployment Claims and Stocks

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Economy Reacts to Recent Upward Trends in COVID Cases, Unemployment Claims and Stocks

The more contagious Delta variant has contributed to a 172% increase in U.S. COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks. The spike is raising concerns some social distancing measures may be reenacted. Initial jobless claims are increasing. Last week claims jumped above 400,000 after staying below that threshold for several weeks.

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Market Commentary: U.S. Stocks Struggle as Inflation Jumps; China’s Economy Continues to Rebound

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: U.S. Stocks Struggle as Inflation Jumps; China’s Economy Continues to Rebound

Two big economic releases in the U.S. and a series of economic data in China highlighted a challenging week for U.S. stocks. Inflation surged 0.9% and has now increased 5.4% over the last year (Figure 1). The U.S. Consumer Price Index increased more than expected, led by large spikes in used vehicle prices.

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Market Commentary: Second Quarter Key Events To Know; Future Growth Expectations Are Mixed

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Second Quarter Key Events To Know; Future Growth Expectations Are Mixed

The U.S. economy continued to show signs of a mismatch between demand and supply. Nearly 3 million workers have been unemployed for more than a year; yet, there are 9 million available jobs in the U.S. (Figure 1). Matching those open positions with available workers remains key to a sustained economic recovery.

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