Putting It All Behind Us

Furgeson Wellman by Brad Houle, CFA Executive Vice President

More than anything, the financial markets dislike uncertainty and the most recent source of angst was the election. With the mid-term elections behind us, the market participants are free to focus on economic data and not political minutia. One of our research partners, Cornerstone Macro, published a great summary of likely legislative change and probable market impact from the change in control of the U.S. Senate.

election chart

The European Central Bank (ECB) met this week and the takeaway from their meeting is the ECB is still poised to take extraordinary measures to keep the Eurozone economy from lapsing into a recession and possible deflation. Mario Draghi, the ECB president, reiterated the ECB's commitment to do whatever it takes to keep Europe's economy staggering forward. He did not go so far as to announce quantitative easing which just ended in the United States. The ECB has been doing some bond buying on a smaller scale and keeping the possibility of a large scale quantitative easing program on the back burner in the event the European economy goes from bad to worse.

The employment data for the month of October was released today. The unemployment rate declined to 5.8 percent and nonfarm payrolls increased 214,000 jobs. In addition, there was a 31,000 revision to the September employment report. While the absolute number of jobs was a bit behind the consensus number, this is a very solid report and continues to demonstrate that the labor market is healing.

Takeaway for the Week

  • The equity markets traded around all-time highs this week as the labor markets continue to improve and the uncertainty of the election is behind us