Diversification – March 2013
More Good News
Recently the US Labor Department released the February ‘Jobs’ report and it shed additional positive light on our growing economy. The US private sector added 246,000 new jobs in February while the public sector lost 10,000 leaving a net gain of 236,000…more than anticipated. This helped reduce our nation’s unemployment rate to 7.7% and while that’s not yet the number we want, it’s the lowest level in the last 4 years and definitely heading in the right direction.
A peek at some of the detail shows jobs were created across the economy which we feel is a good sign. We had increases of about 32,000 in health care, 14,000 in manufacturing, 23,700 in retail, 73,000 in professional and business services and even 21,000 in Hollywood. However the sector that we are most pleased with is construction which added about 48,000 jobs in February. About one quarter of the eight million plus jobs that were lost during the recent recession were in construction. It appears that this sector has finally turned the corner. We think this is significant ‘long term’ good news because this industry’s recovery is in its infancy. Recent reports show single family housing starts up about 20% over last year and multi-family construction is up about 34%. We get more good news from housing by looking at prices which continue to trend slightly higher and sales which are rocket-like so far in 2013.
Other positive reports from the labor department show the average hourly wages and weekly earnings are both improving.
OK… ‘big picture’… our economy continues to grow slowly which begs the $64,000 questions…Are share prices getting ahead of themselves? Is now the time to consider being more aggressive or more conservative? We think the answers are ‘no’ and ‘stay the course you’ve set’. Our reasoning is straightforward. 1) the economy and corporate health both continue to improve. 2) It can be difficult to ‘time’ the markets.
However (don’t you hate it when this part comes), remember that in the short run the market is subject to investor emotion which is usually triggered by the latest story. That emotion generally leads to market fluctuations. Sometimes downward fluctuations…AKA corrections! They are normal and expected. It’s simply going to happen. We won’t be surprised and we don’t want you to be surprised. In fact…if they don’t occur…we begin to get a little nervous.
If you’d like to learn a bit more about market corrections, go to http://www.sycamoreweb.com/newsletter/news_091808.html and review our article. This was written in 2008 so the numbers are a bit different today but the basics remain unchanged.
Thanks for your business and trust,
Past performance does not assure future results. Investors cannot invest directly in the stock market indexes such as the S&P 500. Invest return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate. Investor value, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. The material in this presentation is for illustrative purposes and does not reflect any particular investment.
Comments contained above are meant to be generic in nature and are not meant for specific action.