Can Stock Bulls Rally Now?


We got a nice set of June jobs data this morning.  Stock futures rallied further after their release. Despite the low volume of a holiday week, the markets look to buy and not sell.

First, the U.S. unemployment rate stayed unchanged at 7.6%.  This is good news for those who watch the Fed and its taper concerns.  Unemployed persons, at 11.8 million, stayed unchanged for June too. Both measures show little change since February 2012.

Second, stocks, earnings, and companies saw nearly +200K in job adds for not only June, but also in revised numbers for April and May.  This threshold measure of strong business activity will lift up GDP forecasts if it continues.

Solid job adds tell us why the U.S. stock market held up the last few months. The steady pace of improvement in jobs says “Stay the Course” is the best route to go for management of the economy. 

Total nonfarm payrolls increased by +195,000 in June, in line with the average monthly gain of +182,000 over the prior 12 months.   April was revised from +149,000 to +199,000.  May was revised from +175,000 to +195,000.  

 Service industries are leading the way: 
  1.  Leisure and hospitality added +75,000 jobs in June. Job growth averaged +55,000 a month thus far in 2013, almost twice the +30,000 per month in 2012.
  2.  Employment in professional and business services rose by +53,000 in June. Management and technical consulting (+8,000) and computer systems design  (+7,000) led the way.
  3.  Retail trade employment increased by +37,000.
  4.  Health care gained +20,000.
  5.  Finance rose by +17,000 in June.  Credit intermediation (+6,000) and insurance (+6,000) led the way.
 Sequestration is also not taking a huge bite out of jobs going in the other direction.
  •  Federal employment continued its trend down in June (-5,000).
 Construction and manufacturing appear to be in a pause of activity now.
  •  Other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing, showed little change.
 What Was Your Takeaway? 

Does good jobs data puts the stock market back on a bullish track?

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