In Business and Financial News:
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…
On Friday, we learned how many jobs were added to the economy in October and what a pleasant surprise it was. The economy added 204,000 jobs in October, amazing everyone including highly trained analysts who had expected last month’s government shutdown to somewhat damage the labor market. Also as part of the NFP (Non-Farm Payroll) report, the U.S. Labor Department said that the unemployment rate edged up to 7.3% from 7.2% due to the 16 day fiscal standoff in Congress. So, if you’re scratching your head on this one, here’s the backstory. The Department of Labor census takers conduct a survey of a sampling group once a month. They call each of the sampling households and ask questions, including if they worked last week. They do not ask questions like, are you unemployed or how long you have been unemployed? They then take the “no’s” and “yes’s” and formulate the unemployment rate. During the 16 day shutdown, thousands more people were at home and not technically employed, potentially raising the numbers of “no’s” in the survey.
In September, U.S. consumers slowed their spending, even as overall income numbers grew at a second straight solid pace. A Commerce Department report out Friday showed that consumer spending had slowed down from a 0.3% gain in September to 0.2% in September.
The report also showed that incomes rose 0.5 percent in September, matching the August gain. Both months increases are the strongest since February. The slowdown in saving and the gain in income means consumers saved 4.9% of their after-tax income.
We Deliver Rain, Shine, or Sunday…
Amazon (AMZN) will begin delivering packages on Sundays later this month with an unlikely partner—the United States Postal Service. Sunday deliver, at no additional cost, will be available for all Amazon customers in markets where the program is available. There will not be a need for customers to specify Sunday delivery; eligible items will show up on Sunday if that is when they are ready. Sunday delivery will begin on Nov. 17 in Los Angeles and New York and expand next year to Dallas, New Orleans, Houston and Phoenix, and other citifies nationwide. Amazon will bring packages from its warehouses to US Postal Service locations on Saturday evening or Sunday morning for doorstep delivery. The Amazon contract will be a much-needed financial boost to the Postal Service, who continues to bleed red ink as more Americans prefer online and email to traditional email.
Sunday delivery is Amazon’s latest effort to neutralize a key advantage for brick-and-mortar retailers: immediacy and to expand the company’s product offerings. Recently the company built a network of warehouses close to urban centers, and began offering same-day grocery delivery in Los Angeles and Seattle using its own trucks. Amazon has offered Sunday delivery through the grocery service, allowing consumers to select from more than 100,000 non-grocery items to be delivered along with their frozen waffles and tomatoes.
In The Markets:
Asian markets closed up on the first trading session of the week. Markets choose to react to the better jobs news from the US as they await an outcome of a key Communist Party meeting which is expected to result in major reform measures.
Europe closed out the week down on Friday. European stocks fell after a solid U.S. jobs data stroked tapering fears and worries over the impact France’s down grade will have on the country.
US stocks rallied on Friday with the Dow Jones closing up more than 150 points. Investors were giddy after the NFP jobs report blew out analyst expectations. DJIA: +166.98 15760.96 S&P 500 +23.31 1770.46 NASDAQ: +61.89 3919.22
In Dinner or Drink:
1 oz. coconut rum
1/4 oz. Midori® melon liqueur
1/2 Oz Raspberry Sour Puss
1/4 oz. peach schnapps
Shake the coconut rum, Midori, peach schnapps, and sour puss with ice.
Strain over cocktail glass, and fill with pineapple juice to taste.
We dedicate today’s Daily Digest to all the men and women who have served or are serving in our military. Thank you!