August 7, 2020

Bill Hastie |

Another solid performance on Wall Street yesterday pushed the NASDAQ past the 11,000 mark for the first time in history, gaining 109.67 points, or 1%.  The Dow and S&P 500 followed suit, gaining 185.46 and 21.39 points, or 0.68% and 0.64%, respectively.  Large capitalization technology stocks led the way in setting the 32nd record close for the NASDAQ this year.

In the premarket this morning, all attention was on the Department of Labor’s report on unemployment for July and the overall unemployment rate.  At 5:30am PDT, the Department reported that 1.763 million nonfarm jobs were adding in July.  While this represents a sharp decline from the 4.791 million jobs added in June, it does indicate that the economy can still grow in the face of the latest resurgence of the coronavirus.  The July report also exceeded the 1.5 million jobs forecast by the economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

The July unemployment rate fell to 10.2% from 11.1% in June, besting economists’ predictions of 10.6% for July.  While another positive sign for the recovering economy, for context consider that the unemployment rate was 3.5% in February.

The wrangling continues on Capital Hill with House Democrats and the Trump administration still unable to come to a compromise on an additional coronavirus relief aid bill.  In the absence of a deal, the Administration has threatened to use executive powers to enact a relief bill.  Negotiations will continue today.