U.S. Jobless Claims Drop, Stocks Set Record

September 20, 2018

 

America had another record day on the economic news front. 

The morning started out with Department of Labor data showing U.S. jobless claims dropping to the lowest levels since Nov. 15, 1969. Then, the afternoon finished with a bang on the New York Stock Exchange with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index closing the day at all-time record highs.

 

The symbolic DJIA gained 251.22 points and ended its Wall Street day at 26,656.98. This is the highest record level since Jan. 26, and the 100th record close since President Trump was elected. Meanwhile, the much broader S&P 500 increased 22.80 points or 0.78 percent, jumping to an all-time high 2930.75

Year-to-date, that S&P index of companies is returning nearly 10 percent. Positive news indeed for those investing and saving for the future through company 401Ks and IRAs.

 

For those not heavily invested in stocks, the greater economy continues to show impressive strength and remains in your favor as seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims decreased by 3,000 in the week ending Sept. 15 to 201,000. This is the lowest level for initial claims since November 15, 1969 when it was 197,000.

 

The 4-week moving average was 205,750, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 208,000, according to the Department of Labor data released today.  This is the lowest level for this moving monthly average since December 6, 1969 when it was 204,500.

 

For those keeping score, the current economic expansion that began in June 2009, or 9 years and 3 months ago, still defies all geo-political problems and Chinese tariffs to name a couple headwinds. 

 

Of course, boom times don’t last forever. If this one makes it to 10 years old next summer, it'll be the longest in U.S. history. 

 

To be sure, expert economists are busy speculating how and when this one will end. In the meantime, looming recession notwithstanding, America looks pretty darn good as it heads into the final quarter of the year.

 

 

 

 

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Scott Kauffman & Tom Glavine_edited