Last week we saw NFPayrolls rise 213k above the 195k that was widely expected. May’s payroll report was also revised higher by some 21k to 244k. One weak spot was that the unemployment rate saw a .2% up tick to 4.0% and the average hourly earnings
Happy 4th of July everyone and what we have seemingly been accustomed to by now, is the fact that holiday’s that come mid week, seem to wipe out the whole week in terms of productivity. Anyway for the United States, July 4th is the iconic symbol of national independence as it commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Despite being voted and signed on 2 days prior, we celebrate it on the 4th, maybe because that’s when the documents actual wording was approved. Anyway, speaking of wording, it seems as if the Preamble has been thrusted to the forefront with the election of one Donald John Trump. We highlight this part of the Preamble as being most relevant in describing the new administration from those prior,
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
For those that haven’t heard of “Q” or Qanon, we highly suggest you research it. This movement that has been ongoing behind the scenes is formidable and has gained a huge following not just here, but globally. Many main stream publications have come out denouncing, discrediting and mounting a clear disdain for any such conspiracies, but we know better. We know that there is always truth to something, especially something this large. We only mention this because it does effect business, it does effect markets and in life, knowledge is the true freedom. So let’s just say, we want you to know so you aren’t surprised. If you want to know more about it, @Prayingmedic on twitter is a good place to start. We will leave it at that.
There was a lot to digest last week, so let’s jump right to it. The AP reported that the Supreme Court has ruled that states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax (all times local). This was an obvious jab at the monopoly Amazon holds in the online e-commerce business. AP also reported that Wayfair, one of the companies named in the case and the e-commerce company that sells home goods expects this decision to have a “notable impact” on its business. Our home state of Illinois is probably salivating, most likely spending the money before its even collected!
Last Friday the U.S. Labor Debt. reported the economy added 223k jobs in May, which was higher than the forecast amount of 190k. The unemployment rate fell to 3.8% the lowest since 1969, even hourly earnings rose to annual rate of 2.7%. The WSJ reported that Trump tweeted “looking forward” to the jobs report about an hour before the release, but can POTUS be held to the embargo rule??? We doubt it, but the tweet caused an early jump in yields as traders anticipated a better than expected number based upon the Presidents tweet.
Also, out last week the FED reported on upcoming changes with Volcker 2.0. The WSJ reports that the prohibition on prop trading by banks would continue, but less stringent and more simplified enforcement for the rule would give bank managers more flexibility toward trader behavior.
Just tossing this tidbit out and despite the recent pull back in Crude, we went to the gas station yesterday and Unleaded Gas, the premium version was $4.30! How’s that for summer driving budgets? Is there a difference in 87 or 93 octanes? Probably, but I bet most will forgo the more expensive Premium and buy the 87 version! Somehow, we tend to feel that the price of oil is manipulated, but that’s just us!
The WSJ also had a great article on the price of Lumber today. One thing of note there, Lumber hit a high on May 17 at $639 and as of yesterday closed at $589, down nearly 8%. Is this significant? Can we correlate the price of Lumber in leading the way to another down leg in housing? It peaked in early 2005 as well, so this should be interesting? A break of this 8% threshold may see some CTA trend followers hop on board.
We also continue to see political posturing due to the heightened trade tensions, especially with China. Today China proposed a deal that included a $70 billion deal to purchase farm, manufacturing and energy products. The Trump administration wants to see upwards of $375 billion in trade deficit reduction and what it seems like to us, is that Trump is a master negotiator and will most likely get his way. After all, negotiations are about posturing from the position of power and considering China is fully reliant on exports and considering their growing leverage, we tend to think the U.S. holds the power. We also came across this chart from Bloomberg, which clearly demonstrates growing Chinese corp. debt and interest costs!