Monday, April 5, 2021
Though we were on holiday last Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) did not take Good Friday off, reporting the strongest monthly jobs numbers in seven months: 916K new jobs were created in March, more than 25% higher than the consensus estimate of 675K and almost doubling the 468K new jobs added in February 2021 — which itself was up massively from the 379K originally reported. The Unemployment Rate remained steady at 6.0%, which revised down 20 basis points from the original report.
Once again, Leisure & Hospitality led the way with 280K new hires, with 176K of those coming from food service and drinking establishments. Overall, this sector is still down 18.5% from February 2020 (last year) totals, which is good news: this line of work still has room to add new jobs as the Great Reopening continues. Construction added a whopping 110K new positions, with Manufacturing a respectable +53K. Professional & Business Services brought in 66K last month.
Labor Force Participation was up only a sleepy 10 basis points to 61.5%; this is still on the weak side, and notably down from the 63.3% a year and a month ago. Again, this is good: plenty of slack yet to be pulled in the labor market. Average Hourly Earnings actually fell to -0.1%, a reverse of the +0.1% expected and the downwardly revised +0.1% from February. No fewer than 43.4% of total U.S. unemployed — 4.2 million people — are of the long-term variety, up from 3.1 million in Feb. 2020.
Today after the opening bell, we’ll get new figures from Markit Services PMI and ISM Services, coming off reads of 60.0 and 55.3%, respectively, the previous month. Last week, PMI Manufacturing was a touch light of expectations at 59.1, while ISM zoomed up 3% over expectations to 64.7% and from 60.8% the previous month. Will we see a similar discrepancy between PMI and ISM numbers on the Services side? We’ll also get a look at February factory orders, expected +0.3%.
Tesla (TSLA – Free Report) shares are up 7% in today’s pre-market after clobbering Q1 deliveries expectations: 184,800 new Tesla’s rolled off the assembly line last quarter, well ahead of the 172K expected. The global electric vehicle (EV) leader now expects 831K deliveries for full-year 2021, +40% year over year. We know the EV market is starting to get more crowded after about a decade-long head start for Tesla, but it will take some time for companies like General Motors (GM – Free Report) to catch up with 2023 sales of electric Hum-Vs.
The S&P 500 sits at a new record high. The Dow appears set to open +250 points to start a new trading week. The Nasdaq is +100 points itself at this hour. Stimulus checks at the start of impacting the economy, with a potential giant infrastructure program perhaps being passed through the federal government shortly and Q1 earnings season around the corner (which will start a period of big year-over-year comps), not to mention a continued high Covid vaccination rate, is bringing the positive sentiment to morning trading.
Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything
Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities.
Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly.