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Great Year So Far, Still More To Go

Great day in the markets last Friday after another great employment report. And the Dow and the S&P both finished up for the week again, making new all-time high closes in the process.

Last Friday's Employment Situation Report came in better than expected with a headline number of 228,000 new jobs being created last month. That was well above the consensus for 190,000. (Private payrolls were up 221,000 vs. views for 184,000, while public payrolls were up 7,000 vs. expectations for 6,000.) Professional & Business Services led the way with 46,000 new jobs, Manufacturing gained 31,000, Health Care added 30,000, and Construction was up 23,000. The unemployment rate remained at a 17-year low of 4.1%. And average hourly earnings increased to a y/y rate of change of 2.5% vs. the previous month's snapshot of 2.3%.

All in all, it was another fantastic employment report. And the markets rallied accordingly.

In other news, the Consumer Sentiment Index came in at a strong 96.8. That was down a bit from last month's 98.5. But analysts were quick to point out that the current conditions component increased by 2.9 points to 115.9, which is an expansion peak and a 17-year high.

Wholesale Trade slipped -0.5% vs. the consensus for -0.1%. The report detailed that 'strong demand for autos' was largely responsible for the draw. They went on to say that while a decline in inventories is a negative for GDP, they are a 'very welcome' during times of expansion. Strong demand is always a plus, and should lead to an increase in inventories to meet an increase in demand.

There's literally only three more trading weeks left in the year.

If things ended today, we'd have another banner year. But I think these next few weeks have even more gains in store, as December usually does.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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