At 8:15 am today, it was game, set, match for the bulls, because the ADP employment report for June showed an increase of 157,000 jobs, more than double the 60-70,000 most economists were expecting. A surprise this large occurs seldom, despite the fact that economist "experts" are generally nothing more than professional guessers, so, the futures leapt forward and stocks opened the trading day strong to the upside.
Incidentally, initial unemployment claims came in at 418,000, the 13th straight week over 400,000, though the market shrugged that data off completely the moment it was released.
They stayed in positive territory for the remainder of the session, stretching the latest ramp-job bill run to eight days, though Tuesday and Wednesday of this week did see some deterioration.
With the government's non-farm payroll data due out at 8:30 am on Friday, there was little to fear into the close, as US markets put in another stellar performance. Stocks finished the day approaching the highs of the year (which are also three year highs, and in the case of the NASDAQ, nearly a four-year high), just two weeks after the gloom and doom crowd seemed to have set the tone for the rest of the year.
Now, this set-up, coming directly prior to earnings season, could be a mammoth double or triple top, but if it's not, expect the markets to go careening upwards without much resistance. Dow 13,000 is well within sight and there's nothing the Fed and the banks and the federal government would like to see more than some record-setting gains on the major indices.
Never mind that the equities game is as crooked and manipulated as they can possibly be, the idea is that the "wealth effect" will create more confidence in the average Joes and Janes, leading to more spending and a more robust economy. It actually could work, though there are doubters, especially the 15 million Americans who cannot find jobs, or the millions who have been foreclosed upon and subsequently lost their homes, or the 45 million on food stamps.
With those groups in consideration, there seems to be a massive disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street and it is precisely why a growing number of Americans have pulled out of stocks entirely and are investing in more down-to-earth investments like back-yard gardens, gold, silver and ammunition. This crowd does not trust the bailout queens of Wall Street nor the Sugar Daddies in the nation's capitol. Instead, they see a hollowed-out shell of a nation, pinning its hopes on paper pushers and overpriced, over-hyped securities that derive a major share of their profits outside the United States.
While a rising stock market may look good on paper, the inner workings of the US economy are badly damaged goods. States are struggling to meet budgets and there's been little to nothing done to address the root causes of the national slow-down: housing and jobs. we are living in a bifurcated economy and nation, and it is not likely to sustain itself well without some serious setbacks. But, for the time being, the status quo has carried the day, though its proclamations of recovery and prosperity (nobody actually saying that yet) don't ring true to many people.
Dow 12,719.19, +93.17 (0.74%)
NASDAQ 2,871.95, +37.93 (1.34%)
S&P 500 1,353.07, +13.85 (1.03%)
NYSE Composite 8,474.88, +78.40 (0.93%)
Advancing issues absolutely buried decliners on the day, 5126-1473. On the NASDAQ, 227 new highs and just 22 new lows. The NYSE had 287 new highs and 8 new lows, making the combined total 514 new highs and 30 new lows. These are the kinds of numbers that would signal a renewed bull market, indicating that there is more upside in the very near future, despite the low volume, which was at its high point of the week, not saying much.
NASDAQ Volume 1,793,291,000.00
NYSE Volume 3,860,334,750
Crude oil galloped ahead to the tune of a $2.02 per barrel gain, finishing at $98.67, which ensures high gas prices through the remainder of summer unless there's a sudden reversal (don't count on it). Gold posted a slight gain of $1.40, to $1,530.60; silver was up 62 cents, to $36.54, though it still seems range-bound and probably is, with the shorts still in control.
The gain in crude has outstripped the gains in the precious metals today, though it's difficult, if not impossible, to draw any sound conclusions from this except that the global central bank cartel likes higher oil prices much more than they like gold or silver. If they had it their way, gold and silver would not have any value at all.
Friday's non-farm payroll report should prove interesting, especially if it's an "official lie" of over 150,000 new jobs.