We passed the stimulus bill – that did not strenghten the market. The Fed did not change rates and only began a very gradual tapering process – that did not strengthen the market. Q3 earnings were better than expected – that did not strenghten the markets. What will?
We are in a very overbought situation at the moment and, heading into the holidays – it's always a good idea to be well-hedged but the thin market trading around the holidays is the bulls' best friend at the moment as it's the high-volume days that tend to send things lower.
Still, proceed with caution in the two weeks before Thanksgiving and then, if we have made it through November – we might have a Santa Claus rally after all.
According to Indeed, there were more than 11M job openings in early November, far more than the 7.4M people who are considered unemployed. We used to fill those jobs with immigrants but those were made illegal under the last administration so now they just sit empty – for reasons we discussed in yesterday's PSW Report. Many of the open jobs are in Warehousing, Shipping and Consumer-Facing Retail, a trend that is likely to be supercharged by the holiday shopping season and strong consumer demand.
4.3M workers quit their jobs in August, as workers are only just beginning to exercise bargaining power for their labor. With 11M open jobs – there's always someone willing to pay more if your boss is not and workers are starting to understand that – a condition similar to the one we had in the late 80s and 90s – when 10% annual raises and two-week bonuses were expected.
Labor-force participation, or the share of working-age people employed or looking for work, has remained lower than normal despite strong job growth during the recovery. Employers, especially in lower wage sectors like food service, might normally hire workers who are unemployed, but are now looking to entice people to leave their current jobs for better pay or benefits.
New openings, especially seasonal ones with set end dates, are growing rapidly. The National Retail Federation, an industry group, anticipates that retailers will hire 500,000 to 665,000 seasonal workers compared with the 486,000 they hired…