On Thursday, the weekly jobless claims data showed a drop below 500,000 over the past week in yet another sign that the labor market is returning to pre-pandemic levels. This is somewhat contradictory to what the April data showed us that was released on Friday. The unemployment rate ticked slightly higher to 6.1% vs. the expected number of 5.8%. Keep in mind that the April numbers are somewhat “stale” information now and I believe the weekly jobless claims dropping is a better indicator of where we are heading. The U.S. Labor Secretary made it clear that stimulus is still needed to get more Americans back to work. With “HELP WANTED” signs showing up more frequently and several industries struggling to find qualified workers, the market clearly is brushing off this job miss and continues to slowly grind higher.
Pfizer and BioNTech announced on the Friday that they will begin the process of seeking full U.S. approval for their Covid vaccine. This is a significant step forward in moving beyond the FDA’s approval for emergency use only. It is also important to note that once they do receive permanent approval, many companies may then require their employees to become vaccinated, much like an annual flu shot. There is no question this will illicit a sharp response from many and as we have been hearing, vaccine proof for things like travel abroad and admittance to certain events, properties, hospitals, etc. may be closer to becoming a reality. We will have to play the game of wait and see to get a full picture of how things might unfold going forward.
With the school year winding down and summer vacations on the horizon, many Americans are ready for some much needed down time. We are already hearing about hotel room shortages in many popular domestic locations and airport traffic is steadily climbing. As we have been saying for months, this could be one crazy summer! Given our lock downs from last year, this should be of no surprise to anyone. I think we are all ready for more levity in our lives right now. If you are looking for a potentially entertaining Saturday evening, Elon Musk will be hosting Saturday Night Live. As one of the true forward thinking and visionary influencers of our lifetime, it might just be worth your time to check it out. As evidenced by his past behaviors, you just never know what he might say or do. Laughter, even in an inflationary optimistic world, is still free right?
Have a great weekend!
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