Stocks posted a positive Friday session with the Dow rising 332 and closing at 24,262. Trading volume was lower however. For the week the Dow closed with a slight loss of 0.2% and for the year the Dow is down about 1.8%.
The April jobs report came in slightly less than expected with 164K new jobs versus estimates calling for 194k new jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 3.9% marking the lowest level since 2001. Wage growth was subdued and most new jobs in this report were created by the service and manufacturing sectors. Gubment jobs fell by 4,000. New claims for unemployment however fell to an all-time low signaling continued strength in labor markets.
Timber stocks are on fire. Rayonier Timber reported earnings well above estimates as net income was up 520% over this time last year. Revenues were higher by 4%. CEO David “No Non-Sense” Nunes said the company benefited from strong demand in Asia (Japan & India) for its New Zealand timber while NW sawlog prices were up 27% and while southern log prices were flat the company noted there are several mills under construction in the south which will benefit operations in the coming months.
Cheniere Energy, the first US company to export LNG, reported “crazy good” earnings and net income sending shares higher. With foreign buyers lining up to buy nat gas as a coal replacement and an alternative to buying gas from Putin, the company posted an 85% revenue increase and a 552% net income gain smashing all estimates and making the gurus look like chumps. LNG shipments from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal on the Gulf Coast continue to grow and this quarter, 67 shipments went to all parts of the globe. The company also increased its forward guidance citing operating efficiencies and a fundamental global shift toward gas with utilities lining up to secure supplies from reliable providers. CEO “Blackjack” Jack Fusco was wearing sunglasses on the call because, to quote a song …”the future’s so bright, I gotta’ wear shades”.