Morning Report: Earnings growth accelerates

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P futures 2870.5 -9
Eurostoxx index 372.33 -1.26
Oil (WTI) 67.74 -0.02
10 year government bond yield 2.92%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 4.57%

Stocks are lower this morning on overseas weakness. Bonds and MBS are down.

Jobs report data dump:

  • Payrolls up 205,000
  • Unemployment rate 3.9%
  • Average hourly earnings up 2.9%
  • Labor force participation rate 62.7%

The payroll number and the wages were higher than what the Street was looking for, which explains the reaction in the bond market. The labor force participation rate fell as 467,000 workers dropped out of the labor force. A big decrease was seen in the 16-19 year old category, which would mean summer jobs ending. With more and more schools starting in before Labor Day, perhaps it is time for BLS to make some re-adjustments in their seasonality calculations. In terms of sectors, professional and business services rose by the most, followed by health care. Surprisingly, construction increased going into what is a seasonally slow period and despite the jump in same store sales, retailers shed jobs. Overall, a decent report, which should keep stock investors happy and will also give bond investors something to fret about. Wage growth is getting close to a 3-handle and that will be a big number.

In response to the jobs report, the December Fed Fund futures raised their 2 hike probability to 75%.

The Trump administration continues to hammer out a trade deal with Canada and Mexico. Separately, the deadline passed for an additional 200MM in Chinese tariffs, which means he can implement them at any time.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling penned an editorial in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, where he laid out a framework for dealing with the GSEs. His solution will be to run everything through Ginnie Mae, with private capital taking the first loss position, and the taxpayer taking a catastrophic loss position. It would create a common securitization platform and still maintain some sort of affordable housing fund. Originators would have to get a private credit enhancer to guarantee the loan. The private credit enhancer would have to be market-based and have a bank-like balance sheet. Note that this is the first bipartisan housing reform bill, which means we may be getting closer to having the political will to de-nationalize the US mortgage market.

Skilled construction labor is hard to find. 83% of builders report some sort of shortage for rough carpenters. It is even worse for subcontractors. With those sorts of shortages, we should see wages accelerate. It is inevitable. The 9-occupation trade shortage is as big as it has ever been.

Author: Brent Nyitray

Why do you need new bands? Everyone knows rock attained perfection in 1974. It's a scientific fact. - Homer Simpson

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