Despite a weak employment report, all three major averages hit new all-time highs. The Dow inched up 0.6%, the S&P 500 a healthy 1% and the NASDAQ 1.5%. U.S. non-farm payrolls rose by 138,000 in May, less than the 185,000 expected and the prior two months were revised downward. The unemployment rate, however, fell to its lowest level in 16 years to 4.3%.
With the exception of energy stocks, losing about 2.5% on average, all other market sectors had up arrows led by telecom, healthcare and utilities. Treasury prices and gold also strengthened. The Dow Transportation Average was again a star performer with a gain of 1.7% on the week. But oil fell 4.3% to end at $47.66 per barrel. Oil analysts cut the price forecast for crude for the first time in eight months, citing doubts that OPEC will extend an output ceiling through March of next year.
In an otherwise quiet week ahead on the economic front, there should not be too much volatility, except for news out of the White House on its plans for tax reform. Meanwhile, the bulls continue to show their determination, coming back quickly from a brief, but sharp, mid-May selloff. But, such ongoing support is pivotal, as valuations remain at levels that leave little margin for error.
Here is the answer to last week’s trivia question: Eastman Kodak Co., established in 1888, fell into bankruptcy in January 2012. Today, Kodak is? A division of Shutterfly, Inc., privately held by Elliot Management Corp., defunct or publicly traded on the NYSE. Answer: Publicly traded on the NYSE (KODK). Kodak directly – and through partnerships with others – provides products, software and services to customers in graphic arts, commercial print, publishing, packaging, electronic display, entertainment and commercial films and consumer products markets.
Today’s Trivia Question: The CAC 40 is a market index for equities of what country? Canada, France, China or Brazil.