Digging in a little deeper into Fridays big job report, October saw a 261,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls. September’s initially reported loss of 33,000 jobs was adjusted to an 18,000 gain. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.1% from 4.2%. But the major driver of the move lower was a decrease in the labor participation rate, from 63.1% to 62.7%. Average hourly earnings were flat month over month. The underemployment rate, arguably a bigger factor in today’s economy than the unemployment rate, saw a significant drop from 8.3% in September to 7.9% in October. This number has been trending lower since the financial crisis, but this was the biggest month-over-month drop since January 2014, and it is now at its lowest level since 2006. (BLS)
The tax proposal has been released, but is still just a proposal. Broadly, the reforms were in line with expectations–a corporate tax rate of 20%, fewer individual brackets, and a phase out of the estate tax. Surprises included decrease in the cap on the mortgage interest deduction (from $1 million to $500,000), and no changes to limits on pre-tax 401(k) contributions which had been widely discussed. There are likely to be many changes (and the potential for market-moving headlines) as the bill works its way through Congress. (FBN)
The S&P 500 is down 3 and the NASDAQ is down 2. The MSCI international index is lower.
Oil is up 36 cents at $56.00 a barrel.
Gold is up $3 at $1272 a Troy ounce.
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.