S&P 500 recovers but employment gains sluggish

Short retracement on the S&P 500 that respected support at 3000 strengthens the bull signal. Further gains are expected in the short- to medium-term.

S&P 500

Corporate profits before tax continue to decline after adjusting for inflation, exposing the vulnerability of high earnings multiples.

S&P 500

Hours worked (non-farm payroll x average weekly hours) for November also point to low annual GDP growth of around 1.5% after inflation.

Real GDP and Hours Worked

Employment growth for the 12 months to November came in at a similar 1.48%.

Employment Growth & Fed Funds Rate

Not enough to justify a P/E multiple of 23.25.

Average hourly earnings growth is increasing, especially for production & non-supervisory employees (3.65% for 12 months to November), but in the present environment the Fed seems unconcerned about inflationary pressures.

Average Hourly Earnings


Patience is required. We have had a weak S&P 500 retracement confirm the breakout but there is minimal up-turn in November employment indicators to support the bull signal. Market risk is elevated and investors should exercise caution.

“The world has a way of undermining complex plans. This is particularly true in fast moving environments. A fast moving environment can evolve more quickly than a complex plan can be adapted to it….”
~ Carl Von Clausewitz, Vom Kriege (On War) (1780-1831)