More bad economic data
A record 20.5 million people lost their jobs in April, well above the previous record of 2 million during World War II. This is further confirmation of how quickly our economy stopped, and the LPL strategists noted that the unemployment rate of 14.5% will likely continue to trend higher over the coming months. Earnings season is wrapping up, and although there were some strong earnings reports last week, Q1 earnings are now expected to be down 13% year over year and could be down significantly more next quarter.
Ignore the bad economic data?
In the face of historically bad economic data, stocks have soared higher over hopes of reopening the economy and positive trends in COVID-19 cases. Should we just ignore the data? The LPL strategists don’t feel we should blindly ignore the economic data, and instead focus on some of the more real-time data, like jobless claims and the number of people booking dinner reservations or flying on a plane. Some good news is testing has soared in the US, while the number of positive tests as a percentage of all test has continued to trend lower.
Time for a pullback?
Stocks have gained more than 30% since the March 23 lows, but as the LPL strategists point out, it could finally be time for a well-deserved pullback. We are seeing less stocks participate in this rally, while the worst six months of the year are upon us. Looking at last year, stocks had their largest sell-off during the May/June period. A pullback in the range of 10% could be perfectly normal and healthy over the longer term.
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The source for the unemployment numbers discussed in this podcast is the US Department of Labor.
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