US equity markets have posted a solid performance as a result of better than expected economic data and better than expected Q2 corporate earnings and a solid stream of encouraging data for investors.
-Chicago PMI Report for July was a solid 58.6, though modestly below expectations that were calling for 61. Pending Home Sales for the period rose 1.5%, significantly stronger than the previous month’s -0.7% and consensus that had been calling for +0.9%.
-PMI Manufacturing Index report for July was 53.3. Consensus was calling for 53.2 while June’s reading was 52. ISM Manufacturing was 56.3, matching consensus.
-The ADP Report for July reflected a net gain of 178k jobs, but more importantly, June’s figures were revised from +158k to +191k.
-The July Employment Report was icing on the cake. Initial actual results for July were +209k versus consensus of +178k while June was revised higher to +231 from the initial reading of +222k.
As impressive as those results were for June and July in terms of employment gains, the data within the jobs report was equally encouraging. The official unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3%, private payrolls were +205k, manufacturing payrolls jumped by 16k while June’s were revised a substantial 11k higher to 12k, the participation rate rose 1 tenth of a percent to 62.9, and Average Hourly Earnings were a solid 0.3%. Average Weekly Earnings were also solid at 2.5% and the Average Work Week remained constant at 34.5%.
Given the economic landscape, there is little to stand in the way of further gains for US equities, unless of course investors receive unexpected news on the geopolitical, interest rate, or earnings fronts.
Indeed investors took a pause:
“Markets are looking for any reason at all for a reset. That reset is being triggered by North Korea geopolitical concern and stretched valuations,” said Peter Kenny, senior market strategist at Global Markets Advisory Group, New York—By Sruthi Shankar #MARKET NEWS.
US equity markets remain in a confirmed uptrend despite recent and notable index divergence between the Nasdaq and Dow Industrials in recent weeks. That uptrend is finding confirmation in Q2 results which have provided better than expected earnings and revenue growth in over 65% of the cases thus far.