The Dow and the S&P 500 again made a new record high following the May jobs report which showed the economy added 217,000 nonfarm payrolls.
First, the scoreboard:
Dow: 16,924.28, 88.2, 0.5%
S&P 500: 1,949.44, 9, 0.4%
Nasdaq: 4,321.40, 25.2, 0.6%
The top stories of the day:
- U.S. companies added 217,000 nonfarm payrolls in May, slightly better than the 215,000 economists were expecting but lower than the 288,000 reported last month. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3%, better than the slight increase to 6.4% that was expected. Total payrolls also increased to 138.5 million, a new all-time high that takes out the previous high from January 2008. At Capital Economics, Paul Ashworth said, “[t]he robust 217,000 increase in non-farm payrolls in May is another illustration that the economy is back on the right track after the weather-related weakness during the winter.” Chris Rupkey at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ added that the report shows the economy is showing signs of no longer needing the Fed’s help. Rupkey said, “The Fed says the Fed funds rate should be 2-1/4 per cent when unemployment hits 5.2-5.6%, so they better get going, better stop talking down the recovery. This is not an economy that is still in the wake of financial crisis and recession. It does not require Government support. As the economy normalizes, Fed policy must normalize as well.”
- The other major economic data point of the day was consumer credit, which climbed $US26.847 billion in April, nearly doubling expectations for $US15 billion. This expansion also topped the revised $US19.5 billion expansion from March. Bloomberg’s Michael McDonough noted that the jump in credit was due to a surge in revolving credit, or credit card spending.
- “The Scariest Chart Ever,” which had showed how the U.S. economy had not recovered all of the jobs lost during the 2008 recession, was finally retired with today’s jobs report, as the job market made itself whole.
- The jobs report also showed that college graduates are subject to a far lower unemployment rate than workforce peers with fewer academic credentials. For college graduates, the unemployment is just 3%, compared with 8.5% for high school dropouts and 6.1% for high school graduates who completed no college.