By all most indications, the jobs report for December showed off several impressive stats that paint the U.S. labor market in a favorable light. But that doesn't mean all is fine and dandy in the jobs market right now, even if Dow 20K suggests otherwise.
Here are some of the buzzy things likely to be plastered in the weekend newspapers after Friday's reading on jobs.
President Obama's Legacy on Job Creation
The U.S. economy notched its 75th straight month of employment growth. That marks the longest streak of gains on record dating back to 1939. At 2.2 million last year, job creation in the U.S. topped 2 million for the sixth consecutive year. And for good measure, average hourly earnings in December popped 2.9% to $26.
Hat tip, President O.
Unemployment Rate Low, Low, LOW
The unemployment rate, which clocked in at 4.7%, is hovering at the lowest level since 2006. Not too shabby considering the rise of automation (meaning the need for fewer humans).
Clearly there is a great deal for the Obama administration to hang its hat on as it gets ready to exit the White House to begin collecting lucrative speaking fees and TV contributor deals. But if one were to read the tea leaves they may find that businesses are preparing to hunker down on the hiring front in the first half of 2017 as Donald J. Trump gets used to his new daily gig.
Employers in the U.S. announced they slashed 33,627 jobs in December, up 25% from November's annual low, according to a new report by outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas. December's layoff total was up a sharp 42% from December a year ago, which at the time was the lowest monthly total in more than 15 years.
Macy's (M) , struggling with people not having enough money to shop both its large stores and online, said this week it will let 10,100 go as it closes lagging stores and restructures at the corporate level. Dying Sears (SHLD) will move to shut 150 Sears and Kmart stores in early 2017, displacing an undisclosed number of humans.
Meanwhile, mining equipment king Caterpillar (CAT) is reportedly considering a new round of production cuts. New Trump Twitter target Toyota (TM) is canning about 648 workers in Kentucky, while Lexmark International (LXK) is laying off 320, or 10%, of its software business segment's employees. If the pink slips that are already trickling in are any indication, the January and February earnings season could see a host of new announcements ranging from bloated industrial giants to sleepy tech titans to underperforming household name retailers.
As a result, the U.S. economy could fall short of the gaudy expectations that Wall Street has baked into stock prices as consumers and businesses pull back on their spending. And boy, is Wall Street upbeat at the moment. S&P 500 operating earnings are seen spiking 12.3% to $132.69 a share this year, according to Yardeni Research. The research firm expects double-digit earnings per share growth in each quarter of 2017, with the fourth quarter delivering the largest gain of 14.1%.
Suddenly, a decent year for employment doesn't feel so sexy, huh?
The Coolest Reads I Have Seen so Far Friday
You can now vacation like President Obama: Yes, you can now rent Obama's Hawaiian luxury vacation home, reported ABC News. Called Plantation Estate at Paradise Point Estates at Kailua Bay, the president and the First Family vacationed there from 2008 to 2001 and again last month. The photos are stunning. Price to live like the Obamas: $3,500 a night.
Here comes the most powerful Bentley ever: Revealed Thursday night ahead of the upcoming Detroit Auto Show, the new Bentley Continental Supersports (pictured below) will be the most powerful car ever from the automaker, reported USA Today. Boasting an insane 700 hp, the Supersports will jet from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. The top speed is a mind-blowing 209 mph.
The Continental Supersports is back!! Sitting at the top of the range with 700 bhp, 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, and 209 mph top speed.. This beast is now not only the fastest and most powerful Bentley ever, but the fastest luxury four-seater in the world!
A photo posted by Superior Automotive (@superiorauto) on
As TheStreet could attest (below video), Bentley just does things right.