In this week’s recap: Stocks slump as the 10-year Treasury yield spikes, an ISM index hits a historic peak, job creation weakens, and oil extends its winning streak.

10-Year Treasury Yield Hits a 7-Year Peak
On Oct. 5, the yield on the 10-year note reached 3.23%, its highest level since 2011. Its yield rose dramatically last week, influenced by hawkish comments from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell and reports showing minimal unemployment and a swiftly expanding business sector. All this strengthened investor perception that the U.S. economy has hit its stride. It also suggested a near future with recurring interest rate hikes, costlier borrowing, and subdued spending. That possibility weighed on equities. For the week, the Nasdaq Composite fell 3.21% to 7,788.45, and the S&P 500, 0.97% to 2,885.57; the Dow Industrials retreated just 0.04% to 26,447.05.[1],[2]

Less Hiring in September
A look at the Department of Labor’s latest jobs report reveals good news and bad news. The good news? Unemployment declined further to 3.7%, annualized wage growth improved to 3.4% in the third quarter, and monthly net hiring averaged 190,000 in Q3. The bad news? Payrolls expanded with just 134,000 net new jobs last month, as underemployment ticked up 0.1% to 7.5% and year-over-year wage growth slowed to 2.8%. Some economists feel that Hurricane Florence significantly impacted the September data. [3]

Service Sector Expands at a Historic Pace
The Institute for Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing manager index rose 3.1 points in September to 61.6. It has never been that high in its decade-long history. ISM’s PMI for the factory sector took a slight dip in September, slipping from 61.3 to 59.8 but still showing fast expansion. [4]

Oil Makes Another Weekly Advance
Crude is on a 4-week winning streak. At Friday’s closing bell, the price stood at $74.34 a barrel on the NYMEX, reflecting a 1.5% rise in five days. Again, worries over upcoming U.S. sanctions against Iran helped to send prices higher. WTI crude settled at $76.41 Wednesday, which approached a 4-year peak for the commodity. [5]

Do you have questions about the past week’s economic activity? Contact one of our advisors for more information.

1 – [10/5/18]
2 – [10/5/18]
3 – [10/5/18]
4 – [9/26/18]
5 – [10/5/18]