The Independent Market Observer
The Independent Market Observer
Commonwealth’s chief investment officer, Brad McMillan, provides insight on the economic, market, and political events of the day—both domestically and on a global scale.
October 19, 1987, is a date that will live in stock market infamy. Known as Black Monday, it marks the largest one-day loss in history, with the Dow down exactly 508 points (22.61 percent).
Have you noticed how hard it is to blow a bubble these days? Things that were once considered out-and-out, no-doubt-about-it bubbles now get a “meh, I’ve seen bigger” reaction. It seems we’re all a bit jaded.
Today's post is from Sam Millette, a fixed income analyst on our Investment Management and Research team.
One of the key points in my argument that things are actually pretty good—and likely to get better—has been that with a growing economy, companies are selling more and making more money. Rising profits, especially on a per-share basis, are the foundation for a rising market.
I am at the Commonwealth National Conference in San Diego this week, talking with advisors from all around the country. Similar to the Financial Planning Association conference that I attended last week, everyone here wants to know what the market is going to do. In the short term, I suspect it is likely to keep rising.
Market risks come in three flavors: recession risk, economic shock risk, and risks within the market itself. So, what do these risks look like for October? Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.
Despite the impact of the hurricanes (in many respects, because of them), September’s data came in surprisingly positive. The headline figures were certainly affected by the storms, but the underlying details remained solid.
Last week gave us a broad look at the economy, including business confidence surveys and the jobs report. The news came in surprisingly strong, at multiyear bests in many cases. This was, of course, positive and consistent with other data, but the magnitude of the improvements raises the question of how much the storms may have affected the results. That impact varies, but there is reason to believe that the improvements are real—although likely not as good as the numbers would suggest.
Since I thought I had covered the most likely outcome of the jobs report in yesterday’s post, I had not planned on writing about it again this morning. Looking at the actual data, though, there are some worthwhile takeaways that deserve a closer look. So, here we are.
One of the most important economic reports—the jobs report—is coming out on Friday. This is always a big data release, in that jobs are the ultimate barometer of the economy. Companies don’t hire unless they are both confident and expanding, so the jobs report touches them. Consumers don’t spend unless they are working and making money, so it touches them. Inflation depends on how fast wages are growing, so it touches that, too. Basically, the jobs report sits right in the middle of everything that we as investors need to keep an eye on.
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