Wall Street Journal headlines:
- Recession in U.S. began in February, 6-6
- Surprise job gains seeds hope, 6-7
- Fed plans to keep rates at low level for years, 6-11
- Dow falls 1800, virus, investors worries, 6-12
Few believe the President’s bluster, but the May jobs report, while dire, was better than expected. The unemployment report showed a three percent decline, even if unemployment is still at a record high (16.3%), or 20,900,000 out of work. Also, May’s consumer spending from reopening appears stronger than expected.
The mixed economic signals are further confounded by the good and bad news coming from COVID-19 reports. While the daily death toll is now well below 1,000 a day (118,000 total), the continuing fatalities are more widely distributed in the South and West, as the toll in the Northeast has tapered off. The periodic spikes in infections and hospitalizations, both here and around the world – China, Brazil and Mexico, continue to dampen optimism that the recovery will be smooth or quick.