Other Economic News Of Note:
- The monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the U.S. economy created 162,000 net new jobs in July, lower than the past few months and 20,000 to 25,000 lower than most economists expected. In the perverse environment of the financial markets, this was seen as positive, because they believe it will slow when the Federal Reserve cuts back on its bond buying and other stimulus measures. The Dow-Jones and S&P 500 indices hit new record highs Aug. 2, the day the jobs report was released. Leisure and hospitality added 23,000 new jobs, fewer than half as many as the average the previous two months.
- The Thomson/Reuters University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index hit another post-recession in the final July reading, up a point from June to 85.1. Higher income households, which have been clearly the most optimistic the past year, were slightly less so in July, probably because of fears the Fed will cut stimulus programs, pushing down the equity markets. Meanwhile, optimism among lower income households improved, perhaps in response to stronger jobs numbers. The Expectation Index, however, was 1.3 point lower, to 76.5. The Current Conditions Index had a strong, nearly five-point gain.