Latest Market News
Nonfarm payrolls increased 209,000 last month versus expectations for a gain of 233,000, following a 298,000 gain in June, Labor Department figures showed Friday.
The unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.2% as more people entered the labor force in search of work, while the U6 unemployment rate, which includes people who can only find part-time work and those who recently gave up looking, rose to 12.2% from 12.1%.
The labor force participation rate, however, edged up to 62.9%, the first increase in four months.
Meanwhile, average hourly wages rose just one cent to $24.45. While wages have risen 2% over the past 12 months, they’re unchanged from the start of the year.
While July payrolls fell below analysts’ expectations, the overall trend continues to point to robust improvement in the labor market. In the first seven months of 2014 the economy has gained an average of 230,000 jobs. That’s the best stretch of job creation since the recession ended in mid-2009 and 19% faster than the pace of hiring in 2013.
July’s report is likely to spur renewed speculation for the Federal Reserve to impose rate hikes sooner than previously expected. Fed officials this week continued to pare monthly asset purchases, while repeating that they’re likely to keep interest rates low for a “considerable time,” citing a range of labor-market indicators that suggest there remains “significant underutilization of labor resources.”
Gold was also buoyed Friday amid increased safe-haven demand due to renewed violence in Middle East. Israel declared a Gaza ceasefire over on Friday and killed more than 50 Palestinians in renewed shelling, saying militants had breached the truce shortly after it began and captured an Israeli soldier.
International calls for an end to the bloodshed have intensified since shelling on Wednesday killed 15 people sheltering in a U.N.-run school in Gaza's Jabalya refugee camp.
Meanwhile, traders continue to digest Thursday’s selloff in equities. Global stocks were under strong selling pressure overnight, following sharp losses U.S. markets. The Dow and S&P 500 stock index futures hit multi-week lows on yesterday, with the Dow erasing the entirety of its gains for 2014.
This week’s combination of earnings data, economic news and a default by Argentina have all been cited as responsible for triggering the selloff, as well as uncertainty heading into Friday’s release of the July jobs report.
View Market Data
Read the latest market viewpoint commentary from Merit's very own Executive Vice President, Mike Getlin.View Market Data
Sign up for insightful market viewpoints from Mike Getlin, Executive Vice President.
Market News Archive
This week on the Vault, Brian recaps this week's deluge of economic data, and what it will take for gold to break out of its current trading range. Plus, Mike Getlin joins Brian to offer his take on 2nd quarter GDP, the Fed’s increasingly ambiguous language...watch more
Gold Standard with Brian Baker
Brian covers the latest op-ed piece from Mike Getlin, CEO of Merit Gold, "Viewpoint: Debunking the $800 Gold Myth." (Originally Aired July 8, 2014)watch more
For a quarter of century, Merit is a trusted financial partner for thousands of
investors of gold and precious metals
Widely recognized as an honest,
responsible and highly ethical institution,
Merit has a perfect rating
Each year more investors, financial
planners and collectors become part of our
community of highly satisfied customers
Nearly 50,000 men and women in the armed forces have been injured in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. To support those who have risked their lives for their country, Merit has developed the Wounded Warrior Project. This program provides unique, direct assi...read more