Stocks closed the trading week on an uptick thanks to a strong jobs report. The Dow closed at 22,092 up 66 points on lower trading volume. This marks the eight record in a row for the Dow even though the NASDAQ has pulled back two weeks in a row and now sits 1.7% below its highs. For the week the Dow was up 1.1% and we are seeing a rotation from growth to value. Bank stocks were the leaders in todays market action.
The July jobs number came in hotter than a pancake and beating estimates as 209,000 jobs were created and the unemployment rate fell to 4.3% even in the face of and expanding labor force which grew by 349,000. There is an alternative measure of job creation called the “civilian employment” rate which includes small business startups and this measure created 345,000 jobs in July up from a 202,000 reading in June. The gurus are thinking the jobs report for August will also be strong as it will include the nationwide job fair that Amazon hosted earlier this week. The bottom line on this report suggests a solid economy and a Federal Reserve on track to raise rates in September and maybe even December as well.
The Puget Sound Business journal reported that wine grape production in Washington State is up 22% since 2015 making us the second largest wine producing region in the US. 30 years ago the region had only a couple dozen wineries but today that number stands at about 900! So Washington has salmon, timber, wheat from the mighty Palouse (go Cougs!), apples, cheap hydro power and now grapes for wine. What a great place to live!