The jobs number came in just about as expected as 223,000 new jobs were created in June. The unemployment rate fell to 5.3%, which is fine, but the participation rate continues to decline, and average hourly wages came in unchanged and only up 2% over that past 12 months. Weekly jobless claims went back up a hair to 281,000 new claims last week. All in all, the jobs picture seems good enough to support a Fed Funds rate move in September, but the lack of inflation, once again illustrated by stagnant wages, is presenting a problem (not to mention global concerns and basic economic malaise).
As for the markets, stocks rallied early but gave up those modest gains by midday. By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 27 points to finish the day at 17,730. The S&P 500 was down less than a point to close at 2076. Gold was down $5.10 to trade at $1164 per ounce, while oil was down $.30 to trade at $56.66 per barrel WTI.
Of course, traders will be focusing on the Greek referendum vote on Sunday. It’s unclear what a yes or no outcome will produce exactly, so we won’t ramble on about it here. Suffice it to say, we’ll be buckled in on Monday and be ready to go. We’ll let you know how it plays out. Don’t forget the markets are closed tomorrow. In the meantime…
Have a great 4th of July weekend everyone.