10 Years of Jobs…POOF!

Over the past few months, we have been asked several times how the market can be rising in the face of such terrible economic data. High on that data list is unemployment. Our economy went from the lowest unemployment rate in 70 years of 3.5% in February to 14.7% in April. In less than two months, we lost 10 years of job creation. But something strange happened in May. Economists predicted a loss of another 7.5 million jobs, which would have resulted in the unemployment rate rising to 19.1%. Instead, we gained 2.5 million jobs and the unemployment rate actually dropped. The Bank Credit Analyst (BCA), a respected macro research firm, estimates that roughly 80% of the jobs lost were temporary. As the economy continues to reopen certain sectors will be quick to bring back their employees, which is what occurred in May. This is what the stock market was anticipating when it began to rise in April. At the time nearly everyone we heard from – clients, pundits, billionaires, portfolio managers, economists, friends – ALL thought we would retest the lows. We have been doing this long enough to know when everyone thinks something will happen, it is very unlikely to occur. Several “experts” have already issued their mea culpa and today you could say there is a sense of exuberance or relief among market participants. After all, the S&P 500 has gained over 40% in less than three months.

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