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Each month, I ask myself. What do longer-term equity readers really need to focus on, right now?

Traders just closed out the first 6 months of 2017. What’s my answer in July? I quote Detective Joe Friday, from the old TV show Dragnet: “Just the facts, ma’am”.

(1) What of U.S. GDP growth? This should be a top-of-mind fundamental. On July 6th, GDPNow for Q2 has +2.7%. Final Q1-17 GDP showed modest +1.2% growth.

(2)  Improved U.S. earnings and low U.S. unemployment claims still say: “Don’t worry”. Q2 looks for +6.6% EPS growth. A strong Q1-17 earnings season is in the bag. It scored a stunning +13.9% in EPS growth.

(3) Monthly labor market evidence? That is as follows. The U.S. created +222K in June, +152 in May, +207K in APRIL, +50K in MAR, +232K jobs in FEB and +216K jobs in JAN. Recall: June was the biggest job addition last year.

(4) U.S. unemployment was 4.4% in JUNE. This is ‘frictional’ or ‘natural’ unemployment.

Summary: The U.S.A. remains firmly in a 97-month expansion.



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