June 2, 2017 — The market got a bit of a shock with the release of the May jobs report, which came in at 138,000 jobs added, well below the Bloomberg median expectation of 182,000 and startlingly below the 253,000 in the private market figure published by ADP the day before. Combine that with a downward revision of job growth in the previous two months of 66,000 fewer jobs than previously thought, and the market response was swift with a selloff of the U.S.
May 22, 2017— Measures of consumer confidence loom large in the financial market press. Several analysts believe that consumer confidence indices have predictive power on consumer spending and stock market returns. Some analysts use intuition to suggest that increased consumer confidence leads to an increase in consumer spending, which strengthens the economy given that consumer spending makes up about two-thirds of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
May 16, 2017 — The advance in consumer prices has slowed noticeably in the past two months, prompting discussions about the health of the economy as well as the Federal Reserve’s (“Fed”) planned rate hikes in the months ahead. The slowdown was apparent in the March data for both major measures of inflation: the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index.