Thursday, July 6, 2017

Markets retreat led by a weak tech sector

Dow dropped 97, decliners over advancers almost 4-1 & NAZ fell 56.  The MLP index rose 1+ to the 299s & the REIT index retreated 3+ to the 345s.  Junk bond funds were a little lower & Treasuries were sold.  Oil climbed higher in the 45s & gold inched up to 1223.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

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A faster-than-forecast Jun pace of expansion at America's service industries, which make up the bulk of the economy, signals solid Q2 growth, according to the Institute for Supply Management.  Non-manufacturing index rose to 57.4 (est. 56.5) from 56.9 in May (readings above 50 indicate growth).  Measure of orders jumped to 60.5 from 6-month low of 57.7.  The employment gauge settled back to 55.8 from an almost 2-year high of 57.8.  A steady job market, healthier consumer finances & low borrowing costs are driving better demand for services, which account for about 90% of the economy & span industries such as utilities, retailing, health care & construction.   The reading, which exceeds the average for this year & last, is consistent with a pickup in Q2 economic growth.  The services data also are in sync with resilient activity at US factories. The ISM manufacturing index, released earlier this week, surged to the highest level in nearly 3 years.  The index of business activity increased to 60.8 from 60.7 & the gauge of export orders advanced to 55 from 54.5.  A measure of order backlogs dropped to 52.5 from a May reading of 57 (the highest in 10 years).  The prices-paid index rose to 52.1 after falling in the prior month to 49.2.

U.S. Service Industries’ Expansion Helps Second-Quarter Rebound

The payroll processing firm ADP says 158K people were added to private sector payrolls in Jun.  The estimate was for 185K & May payrolls were revised lower from 253K to 230K.  The report on comes ahead of the Jun employment report from the Labor Dept which will be released tomorrow AM.  The forecast is for 179K nonfarm jobs to have been created.  That would be higher than May's 138K.  The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 4.3%.

Private sector added 158,000 jobs in June: ADP

Slightly more Americans applied for jobless aid last week, but the number seeking benefits has stayed near historic lows that point to a robust job market.  The Labor Dept said that weekly applications rose 4K to a seasonally adjusted 248K.  The less volatile 4-week average rose 1K to 243K.  Applications are linked to layoffs.  Jobless claims have come in below 300K for 122 weeks in a row.  That's the longest such stretch since 1970 when the population was much smaller.  Employers have hired this year at a slower pace as the unemployment rate has fallen to a healthy 4.3%.  

US weekly requests for jobless aid rise to still-low 248,000

The tech sector is having a tough time making friends & this attitude has gone on for a month.  Additionally there are worries that central banks around the globe are looking for ways to end this easy money period.  That's behind the REITs drifting lower today.  Meanwhile Trump gave a rousing speech in Poland today & will have important meetings with leaders from G-20 countries in the coming days.

Dow Jones Industrials
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