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Everything is not what it seems…

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07/03/2020 | 08:16am EDT

U.S. employment figures helped financial markets to increase their gains yesterday and the Nasdaq to set a new historical record. This came after the good performance of the manufacturing PMI indexes on Wednesday. The U.S. economy created more jobs than expected in June with 4.8 million, a good surprise since the consensus was 3 million. The unemployment rate followed the same positive trend, dropping to 11.1% from 13.3% the previous month. The economic recovery is undeniable.

However, the details of these figures raise questions about the amount of job destructions. In the BLS report, we see that the number of temporarily unemployed decreased by 4.8M. On the other hand, permanent job losses increased by 588,000. The BLS also points out that the number of short-term unemployed decreased, but the number of long-term unemployed increased (>15 weeks). Finally, new jobless registrations (in weekly data), came out at 1.427M, against 1.482M last week and 1.350M expected by the consensus. This slight decrease also seems to indicate a limited economic recovery.

Meanwhile, the US Census Bureau and the US Bureau of Economic Analysis also released the US trade deficit figures for May. It rose by 9.7% to USD 54.6 billion. However, exports fell by 4.4% (to USD 144.5 billion), marked in particular by a 3.9 billion decrease in industrial materials (of which 1.6 billion was attributed to oil). On the import side, the decrease is 0.9% (to USD 199.1 billion). The 4.4 billion decrease in vehicle imports was partially offset by an increase in imports of metals and consumer goods. From a geographical point of view, the largest deficits are attributed to Asia, with China (USD 27.9 billion) in the lead, followed closely by the EU (USD 12.7 billion).

The picture is more mixed than it seems. However, financial markets are looking on the bright side, betting that the worst is behind us and that the world economy has bottomed out. A winning bet right now since the S&P500 is only 3% back from its January 1 level.

Today U.S. markets are closed for Independence Day, and the session is poor in economic indicators.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DJ INDUSTRIAL 0.62% 26828.47 Delayed Quote.-7.39%
NASDAQ 100 0.38% 11096.539063 Delayed Quote.26.59%
NASDAQ COMP. 0.35% 10941.165728 Delayed Quote.21.51%
S&P 500 0.36% 3306.51 Delayed Quote.1.98%

Romain Fournier
© MarketScreener.com 2020
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