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Wall Street Wrap

The strong January jobs report in spite of the U.S. partial government shutdown helped sentiment and eased worries about a potential economic slowdown. Alongside January's 304K job gain, November's print was revised higher by 20K to 196K, but December's was trimmed by a whopping 90K to 222K. 

The last three months have now seen an average job gain of 241K. The unemployment rate unexpectedly ticked higher to 4.0% thanks to a jump in the labor force participation rate to 63.2% from 63.1%, while the broader U6 unemployment rate rose to 8.1% from 7.6%. 

On Friday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were weighed by a 5%-plus drop in Amazon after the company issued cautious Q1 revenue guidance amid an anticipated increase in spending. For the week, the Dow gained 1.3%, the Nasdaq climbed 1.4% and the S&P advanced 1.6%.

More details at Seeking Alpha.

Is the market over-valued? One indicator, called the Shiller PE Ratio, indicates that the S&P 500 is high on the valuation curve. 

Speaking employment data, if you'd like to do your own research, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Your tax dollars are paying for this service. Why not use it? There is enough data there to keep you busy for a very long time. And most of the data is downloadable. For example, try the data for Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey. The cart below, which I created in just a few minutes, shows total employment, which has grown from about 125 million in 1990 to 163.229 million in Jan. 2019. You can also download the data in Excel format and create your own analysis and charts. 


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Vicky Alvear Schecter wrote in Medium | Poltics on Dec. 27, 2018 using her headline above. I thought it was pretty well written -- at least she made an attempt to keep her liberal bias out of it -- regardless of a few illogical fallacies

But she does make an attempt, in an effort to avoid her liberal bias, as she ponders  " order not to be accused by bias, I explained that I would only use conservative sources to prove my point."

To me, that's bias to start out with that premise. And I believe her premise is that she is against the wall. That's her stance. But she makes some good points, but some are skewed, even though she attempt to take a "conservative" approach, even by citing some "conservative" sources in her footnotes.

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After Thursday and Friday, it might seem the markets are down, but the weekly numbers tell a different story, with the three major indices up for the week. The Nasdaq, with its tech exposure, had the smallest increase. The tech sector is obviously under recent pressure. 

IndexNov 2Nov 9+/-%S&P 5002,723.062,781.01+ 57.95+ 2.12%Nasdaq7,356.997,406.90+ 49.91+ 0.67%DOW 3025,270.8325,989.30+ 718.47+ 2.84%
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The weekly chart of the SPY still indicates a long position in the broader market. (The blue line is the 34-week moving average; the red is the 13-week moving average).

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First, it seems that the Fed has really not indicated …

U.S. Top Oil Producer, Thanks to Obama

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The U.S. is now the largest oil producer in the world, according to the EIA, producing some 15 million BOE per day, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. (Remember back when Jimmy Carter said in 1979 the answer to our energy problems was to wear a warmer sweater...but you probably don't. He actually said this on national TV).

The United States is the top oil-producing country in the world, with an average of 14.86 million b/d, which accounts for 15.3% of the world's production. This is down from 15.12 million b/d in 2015, but it was enough to land the United States in the No. 1 spot, which it has held for the past four years running. (Source: Investopedia.)

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Former President Barack Obama sure l…