Your Weekly Blip 7/11/22

Your Weekly Blip 7/11/22

The Markets and Economy
Stocks were lower to start the trading week. The Dow fell 178 points today closing at 31,159 on heavier trading volume. There is a lot of intraday swings lately which can be indicative of cluelessness amongst traders and hedge funds. There is so much going on these days its hard to keep track of it all.
Last week the Dow gained a collective .77% or roughly 240 points and appears to be establishing a support level around the 31,000 level. IBD has markets listed in “rally under pressure” mode which means they are not showing either correction or rally trends. Earnings reports start coming out this week and gurus are eager to see which companies are suffering from inflation and which ones still have pricing power. Some analysts are concerned about inventory levels being too high as consumers prioritize items in order to make the budget work.
The June labor report was better than expected with 372,000 jobs being created and the unemployment rate steady at 3.6%. While the service sector lead the way with hospitality, healthcare and professional service sectors adding workers manufacturing also added 29,000 jobs however the two negatives were small business start-ups which declined by over 300,000 and a big drop in the labor force participation rate. Inflation remains the big problem as prices rise faster than wages leaving Joe Sixpack with only enough money to buy a five pack.
Oil prices are starting to ease as the price of WTI crude has fallen from close to $120 per barrel to the current level of $102. The reasons for the drop are recession fears in the US (although the strong jobs report counters that argument) and economic turmoil in Europe which is finding out the hard way that dependence on Vladimir “Mad Dog” Putin for energy is not what Martha Stewart would call “a good thing”. With oil prices moderating somewhat the price at the pump is also declining with US average gas prices hitting $4.72 on Friday down from $4.84 a week earlier.
Items of Interest
The scouts had a good time at Camp Meriwether in Oregon. 40 scouts made the trip and the troop did well in patrol competition against troops from Nevada, Idaho, California and Oregon. It also marked the last summer camp for Patrick McCann, our beloved Scoutmaster for the past 6 years. Patrick has guided the troop through the pandemic and held them together when they could not be together. His dedication and hard work paid off. What makes Patrick so good is his enduring smile and optimism. He also has an ability to chuckle at the lunkheads who enthusiastically go about doing crazy things.