Household Employment & Auto Sales Support Growing Economy

Today’s jobs report showed a loss of US jobs. This is but hurricane induced a blipa All the underlying data continues to support a growing economy and thus equity markets.

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The Household Survey Employment report rose by 906,000 and Light Weight Vehicle sales spiked to a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of 18.57mil. While there is some distortion due to the impact of recent hurricane damage which will be likely moderated in future reports, the long-term economic trends beginning in 2009 should be viewed as intact. I prefer to use the Household Survey as it is the best method to capture the level of those who are self-employed which is not captured by other measures. The Household Survey data is not backwards-adjusted and its month to month volatility reflects the statistical nature of the error band inherent in economic data collection which is in the range of +/- 385,000 on 154,345,000 or 2%-3%. The Establishment Survey by comparison reports employment from companies with official payrolls with frequent revisions to past month’s data. This month’s report showed a decline of 33,000 in reported employment for Sept 2017.

For investors, there is nothing in these reports to undermine expectations for economic expansion and higher equity markets.

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Todd Sullivan is a Massachusetts-based value investor and a General Partner in Rand Strategic Partners. He looks for investments he believes are selling for a discount to their intrinsic value given their current situation and future prospects. He holds them until that value is realized or the fundamentals change in a way that no longer support his thesis. His blog features his various ideas and commentary and he updates readers on their progress in a timely fashion. His commentary has been seen in the online versions of the Wall St. Journal, New York Times, CNN Money, Business Week, Crain’s NY, Kiplingers and other publications. He has also appeared on Fox Business News & Fox News and is a RealMoney.com contributor. His commentary on Starbucks during 2008 was recently quoted by its Founder Howard Schultz in his recent book “Onward”. In 2011 he was asked to present an investment idea at Bill Ackman’s “Harbor Investment Conference”.