Just Like 1969 – A Good Year for U.S. Jobless Claims & the Jets04-23-2019 |
Sources: Sources for data in tables: Equity Market and Fixed Income returns are from JP Morgan as of 04/19/19. Rates and Economic Calendar Data from Bloomberg as of 04/23/19. International developed markets measured by the MSCI EAFE Index, emerging markets measured by the MSCI EM Index. Sector performance is measured using GICS methodology.
In what was a shortened trading week due to the Easter holiday in the U.S., global capital markets took a fairly uneventful stance as they largely moved sideways. In the U.S., the S&P 500 Index pushed ahead to a level of 2905, representing a loss of -0.07%, while the Russell Midcap Index fell 0.98% for the week. The Russell 2000 Index, a measure of the Nation’s smallest publicly traded firms, outpaced its larger counterparts, losing 1.20%. On the international equities front, developed markets moved 0.35% higher, while emerging markets trailed slightly returning 0.34%. Finally, the 10 year U.S. Treasury yield finished the week generally unchanged for the week settling at 2.57%.
For the most part, last week was an uneventful one. However, investors and citizens alike were presented with at least one data point worthy of celebration. The data point we’re referring to is initial U.S. jobless claims, and the most recent reading indicates that claims have fallen to a level unseen in about half a century. The latest figure shows that U.S. jobless claims fell to 192,000, a depth that hasn’t been reached since September of 1969. To put this figure into historical context, consider the fact that this hasn’t been accomplished since Joe Namath and the New York Jets were crowned Super Bowl champions! What’s even more impressive is that the U.S. population is roughly double the size it was in 1969, making this jobless claim figure even more notable, and even more pronounced in percentage terms!
While we do believe that this updated employment figure speaks to the strength of the U.S. work force, and by extension the strength of the U.S. economy as a whole, we also understand that bouts of increased stock market volatility are likely ahead for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, the upcoming elections in the U.S. and Germany as well as the new October deadline for a Brexit plan from Great Britain. As a result, we implore investors to revisit the diversification that may, or may not, be in place within their existing portfolios. If you would like to learn more about how we are helping clients invest dynamically and consistently with their own goals, time-frame and tolerance for risk, please do not hesitate to speak with your Hennion & Walsh Financial Adviser.
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