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It was a “good” jobs number, but apparently not “too good” of a number for stock market watchers. A “good” number suggests the U.S.A. is not sliding towards a recession, while a “too good” number might result in the Federal Reserve deciding that another interest rate cut is not needed at their next scheduled meeting.
Congress managed to turn back from the precipice of a government shutdown last week by agreeing to delay the legislative fight to another day. The signing of a “continuing resolution” by the House of Representatives (on 9/19/19) and by the Senate (on 9/26/19) will permit fiscal year 2020 to begin tomorrow (on 10/01/19) as scheduled, albeit with a spending plan carried over from fiscal year 2019.
Hurricane Dorian caused life-altering damage to the Bahamas but failed to inflict the same level of destruction to the United States. The storm, reaching 185 mph of sustained winds as it lingered over the Bahamas for 40 hours early in the week, moved slowly northward along the Eastern Seaboard until it crossed land on North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Friday 9/06/19.
They may not be household names, but when they speak, Wall Street listens. Three regional Federal Reserve presidents - Esther George of Kansas City, Patrick Harker of Philadelphia and Eric Rosengren of Boston - all see the U.S. economy as healthy and stable, characteristics that may stop the Fed from implementing any additional cuts to short-term rates in the coming months.
The latest reason making stock investors nervous: an “inverted” yield curve. Usually, the yield on longer-term bonds is higher than that of shorter-term bills, i.e., bond investors anticipate inflation in the future and want to be compensated for it. But if bond investors don’t foresee inflation down-the-road, it suggests they think a period of slow growth is on the horizon, possibly even a recession.
In December 2011, Congress passed the “Budget Control Act of 2011” which set spending limits for our country’s discretionary spending (i.e., not Social Security, not Medicare, not Medicaid) for the nine fiscal years of 2013-2021. Last week the House voted to ignore those spending caps (the Senate will vote on the legislation this week) and increase our nation’s discretionary spending by $171 billion in FY 2020 and $153 billion in FY 2021, the 5th time Congress has taken such action since January 2013.