After a turbulent week last week, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both climbed today to top off their best week of the year so far. A sign that Wall St has liked what they’ve seen from both 2021 4th quarter earnings and forward forecasts. Companies continue to show their resiliency to overcome the many headwinds they’ve faced. We also saw encouraging jobs data sent out by the Labor Dept this week. They announced the U.S. economy added 467,000 jobs in January, which was higher than expected. Previous job creation numbers for December and November were adjusted higher from 700,000 to 1,200,000 in total. The upbeat report just goes to show you how robust the U.S. work force is even with the recent surge of the Omicron variant. It’s promising to see how each successive wave of the virus continues to have a smaller impact on labor demand. Let’s hope this continues!
We also saw an increase in wages, climbing upwards of 5.7% for January compared to a year earlier. Historically, when you have low unemployment, it causes wage growth to increase naturally. More employers chasing fewer workers force companies to offer fatter paychecks and additional benefits. As we’ve seen from most of the recent earnings reports, companies continue to have strong balance sheets and for now, can afford these higher costs. Ultimately, we see these higher wages and better benefits as a catalyst for continuing to drive down unemployment figures. Those workers who are still on the sideline have even more reason to come into the workforce now. Good times lie ahead for the U.S. workforce.
Both the upside surprise of job creation and the wage increase keep the Federal Reserve on track for raising rates in March. The good news caused the 10 Year Treasury to jump above 1.9% for the first time since Dec 2019. Like we’ve said in the past, increases in rates is ultimately a sign of strength in the economy. The economy can deal with periods of high inflation as long as we continue to grow and there are limited negative surprises. We continue to hear from many experts that inflation will continue to run high until slowly declining around mid-2022 as supply chains clear up. That remains to be seen!
PSA - It’s tax season!! Most of the 1099s should be completed sometime in February if they haven’t been already. For those of you who have an online sign on(I encourage you to get one if you don’t already have one) here is a guide for accessing your tax documents:
Important: Tax documents are currently only available via a computer web browser and NOT on the Wealthscape Investor mobile app.
- Visit www.wealthscapeinvestor.com/kestra on your computer and log into your account.
- Using the account panel on the left-hand side, locate the appropriate account and click Details.
- Click Documents.
- Click Tax Documents.
- Select the Tax Year and hit Go.
- Click View PDF to view the tax document. Once open, Adobe Reader will allow you to download or print the PDF ( ), in the upper right-hand corner.
Hope you all have a relaxing weekend. GO USA!!