“Insults Are The Arguments Employed By Those Who Are In The Wrong ” – Jean Jacques Rousseau
Two Stock Market Indices Post Record Highs
Two North American stock indices reached record highs Friday, boosted by a strong job report out of the U.S. The S&P 500 composite index advanced 18.62 to 2,182.87 from a previous record reached last month. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq composite rose 54.87 to 5,221.12 from its previous high of 5,218.86 on July 20, 2015. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 191.48 points to 18,543.53.
In Canada the S&P/TSX composite index gained 119.99 points to 14,648.77, while Canada’s dollar plunged more than a cent at one point Friday before finishing at 75.96 cents US – a drop of .83 of a U.S. cent from Thursday’s close. In commodities, the September crude contract fell 13 cents to US$41.80 per barrel, while gold lost $23.00 to US$1,344.40. September natural gas was down 6.2 cents at US$2.77 per mmBTU and September copper contracts fell two cents to US$2.154 a pound.
Canada’s Economy Sheds 31,200 Jobs, U.S. Adds 255,000 Jobs
Canada’s employment market fell in July, unexpectedly losing tens of thousands of jobs — most on them full-time positions, with Ontario taking the brunt of the declines — and pushing the jobless rate higher. Data from Statistics Canada on Friday showed a net loss of 31,200 workers — enough to push the unemployment rate to 6.9 per cent, up from 6.8 per cent the previous month. Full-time employment fell by a net 71,400 in July, while part-time positions saw a gain of 40,200, the federal agency said. The public sector shed 42,000 jobs, with only 13,600 more people working in the private sector. Ontario lost 36,000 positions in July, marking the first significant decline in the country’s largest province since September 2015, although the jobless rate was unchanged at 6.4 per cent.
Meanwhile U.S. employers added a healthy 255,000 jobs in July, a sign of confidence amid sluggish economic growth that points to a resilient economy. July’s robust job gain may be enough to reassure investors _ and perhaps Federal Reserve policymakers _ that the economy will pick up. Its growth has been weak since last fall. The economy has been driven by consumers, who ramped up spending in the April-June quarter at the second-fastest pace since the recession. Many analysts expect the economy to rebound in the second half of the year, with one of the most optimistic estimates coming from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta: It predicts that annualized growth will reach 3.7% in the current July-September quarter.
Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive; advisor.ca,