Labor Numbers Positive
June 7, 2021
A strong, but not too strong, employment report sparked a rally on the final day of trading, propelling stocks to a modest gain for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed by 0.66%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 0.61%. The Nasdaq Composite index increased by 0.48%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, edged up 0.10%. 1
Markets have traded sideways since mid-April, though beneath the surface has been ongoing sector rotation. Last week continued that trend.
While stocks ended on a strong note, the performance of industry sectors varied widely. Energy, real estate, utilities, and a number of reopening stocks performed well, while consumer discretionary, communication services, healthcare, and technology stocks lagged.
The Fed announced on Wednesday that it will soon begin selling the corporate bonds and exchange-traded funds it had accumulated during the pandemic, an action that some observers interpreted as a harbinger of an approaching change in its easy-money policies. But the below-consensus May job figure on Friday buoyed investors who believe the Fed will not change course soon. 1,2
Labor Market Recovery
It was a good week for the labor market. Initial jobless claims fell to pre-pandemic levels (385,000), ADP (Automated Data Processing) reported a big jump in private-sector hiring (978,000), and the monthly employment report saw nonfarm payrolls increase by 559,000 in May – a healthy increase even though it fell short of some expectations. The unemployment rate declined to 5.8% from April’s 6.1% level. 2,3
Friday’s report showed that total employment numbers still remain about seven million jobs below their pre-pandemic levels. It also showed an acceleration in wage gains, which rose 2% year-over-year following the 0.4% gain in April. 3
This Week: Key Economic Data
Tuesday: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).
Thursday: Consumer Price Index (CPI). Jobless Claims.
Friday: Consumer Sentiment.
Source: Econoday, June 4, 2021
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Monday: Marvell Technology, Inc. (MRVL), Coupa Software (COUP).
Wednesday: Campbell Soup Company (CPB), Brown-Forman Corporation (BF.B).
Thursday: Chewy (CHWY).
Source: Zacks, June 4, 2021
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
FREE CHAIR YOGA!!! Yes, that’s right…Free Chair Yoga offered weekly online.
Chair Yoga is a fantastic way for adults, especially older adults, to loosen and stretch painful muscles, lower stress and improve circulation. Just like a traditional yoga practice, chair yoga poses gives you all the health benefits to build strength and balance while reducing anxiety without having to worry about balancing on your head.
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The S&P 500 has been basing for a few weeks and looks poised to break out now that the economy is reopening and should be fully open by June. Strong demand for travel and leisure is pushing up airline, restaurant, and entertainment equities. Bonds continue to underperform, and there are not many bright spots for fixed income at this time. 4
This communication is issued by Howard Capital Management, Inc. It is for informational purposes and is not an official confirmation of terms. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, nor is it a complete statement of the financial products or markets referred to. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice.
Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster?
Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or fires can happen at any time which is why it's important to be prepared before disaster strikes. Here are a few tips to help you prepare in case anything happens:
- Update your family's emergency plans: Updating your emergency plans can include knowing where to go, where all important documents and possessions are located, and what you need to be prepared for. Check up on the emergency plans for your home or business frequently because things can change.
- Create digital copies of important documents: Most financial organizations like banks and insurance companies provide digital copies of bank statements, tax returns, and insurance policies anyway, and having all these digital copies saved and organized is a good practice to get into. If you only have paper copies of important documents, scan them and save them to your computer in case you can't access them in an emergency.
- Document valuables: It's a good idea to document valuables to make it easier to claim insurance and tax benefits after a natural disaster. A disaster loss workbook will help you compile a list of belongings and photographs that can make this process even easier for both the IRS and your insurance provider.
The best time to prepare for an emergency is always when you don't need to, not after the fact. These tips will help you have everything you need ready in the case of a natural disaster or other emergencies. 5
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Picking Up a Creative Hobby is About More Than Passing the Time
Creative hobbies like writing, knitting, making clothes, and many more are about more than just passing time. In fact, creative hobbies and side projects can make you happier, healthier, and more productive.
When considering a side project or hobby, experts suggest picking something up that's low-risk, low-pressure and a labor of love. The difference between a creative hobby and a creative project is that creative hobbies are ongoing and don't have a dedicated end goal. Side projects are projects that have a goal at the end of the tunnel. For example, your creative hobby could be writing, and your side project could be writing a book.
Coming up with a project or hobby can provide a big psychological lift and a boost to work productivity. Find something that’s low-risk, low-pressure, and a labor of love, and you've found your project. 6
Fontina Asparagus Tart
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 2 cups shredded fontina cheese
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°. In a large skillet, bring 1 in. of water to a boil; add asparagus. Cook, covered, until crisp-tender, 3-5 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry sheet into a 16x12-in. rectangle. Transfer to a parchment-lined large baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle 1-1/2 cups cheese over pastry to within 1/2-in. of edges. Place asparagus over top; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Mix remaining ingredients; drizzle over top. Bake until cheese is melted, 10-15 minutes. Serve warm. 7