Why is the monthly jobs report so important to the markets?

Well, the jobs report is issued every month by the Labor Department, the first Friday of every month, and it really is a key economic indicator. The report surveys 150,000 businesses and government agencies around the country, and the unemployment rate surveys 60,000 households. The jobs report basically signals output, consumer spending. So, as you can well imagine, the stock markets rise and fall based on the jobs report.

Was there anything unexpected in last week's November jobs report?

So overall, that report was, as some economists said, a blockbuster. 266,000 jobs were created in November. That was the second highest total so far this year. The unemployment rate dropped slightly to three and a half percent. That's the lowest rate in nearly half a century.

What's the state of NATO as the alliance turns 70?

Well, it's starting to show its age. Doesn't have the same urgency of purpose that it did when we were fighting the Soviets against the Warsaw Pact. So, a lot of countries don't know why they're in it. Some don't want to spend the 2 percent that has been promised, the nominal goal of GDP that all these countries need to spend on GDP. The Turks hardly acting like an ally these days. And President Macron says is brain dead. Still, I don't see Trump really trying to destroy it and no one else is going to leave. These institutions are very sticky. I would say it is an organization not going anywhere but looking for a little more relevance.

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