Stimulus: Deal or No Deal?

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The U.S. labor market is bouncing back faster than analysts expected…

Today, the Labor Department released the monthly jobs report. October had a net increase in 638,000 jobs and unemployment dropped to 6.9%. Analyst expectations were 580,000 and 7.6% respectively.

The labor market is about 10 million jobs short of February’s record-high peak. And while hiring is still outpacing layoffs, the net increase has fallen every month since April.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the jobs increase is a sign of a continued economic recovery and justifies a smaller stimulus relief package.

Markets are taking a breather today, near flat at writing. They surged higher this week as the presidential election moves toward a conclusion. Joe Biden is still in the lead. If it holds, he could be declared President-Elect as soon as today.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has stressed that the biggest threat to the economy is still the coronavirus pandemic. He continues to encourage lawmakers to provide further relief.

“Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses,” Powell recently said at the National Association for Business Economics Virtual Annual Meeting.

The S&P 500 is up about 7.5% for the week.

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