Stock Market Rises on Encouraging 4th Quarter Earnings – Feb. 1, 2017

Daily Stock Market News Feb. 1, 2017:  Companies reporting their earnings from the end of last year gave the stock market a bounce today, after two days of triple digit losses.  The government is also considering using a different measure of official unemployment, although no final decision has been made.  See more market news and today’s closing prices.

stock-market-graphic- stock market

U.S. Stock Market Closing Prices Feb. 1, 2017:

Dow Jones Industrial Averages:  19,890.94  +26.85  (+0.14 percent)

S & P 500:  2,279.55  +0.68  (+0.03 percent)

NASDAQ:  5,642.65  +27.86  (+0.50 percent)

Crude Oil:  $53.44 a barrel

Today’s Stock Market and Economic News:

After two days of triple digit losses in the Dow Jones, today the markets stabilized as investors around the world waited for the release of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee statement.  No one expects interest rates to be raised again so soon after the last one in December, but they are watching for signals on whether or not rates will go up in March or later in 2017.

If the stated unemployment rate suddenly jumps in the coming months, it is because Trump is considering adopting a different way of reporting it.  The labor department actually calculates six different unemployment rates, but the official one we currently publish has been used since World War II.  The new unemployment rate would include people who, presumably, have gotten so discouraged in their job search that they have given up looking for work.  Watch for announcements regarding President Trump’s decision.

Another change which President Trump wants is to have a weaker dollar.  He believes that a strong dollar hurts our economy.

President Trump’s recent travel ban, which affected travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations, has also taken a toll on airline and travel stocks over the past few days.

The Economic Record under the Past Few Presidents:


Median monthly jobs added
Obama:  186,000 a month
Bush:        61,000 a month
Clinton:  252,000 a month


Median yearly net wage growth
Obama:     2.2 percent
Bush:        3.3 percent
Clinton:    3.5 percent


Average of compound annual growth rate for S&P 500 Total Returns
Obama:   15.52
Bush:      -3.82
Clinton:   17.44

Last Year’s Stock Market and Economic Highlights for 2016:

If you wish to compare 2017 to 2016, here are a few of the most notable events in the stock market and the economy last year:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 13.4 percent during 2016.

The S&P 500 climbed over 9 percent in 2016.

The Nasdaq was up over 7 percent during the year.

Average hourly wages were up over 2.4 percent during the year.

Unemployment dropped to 4.7 percent by the end of 2016.

Over 2 million new jobs were added to the economy during the 2016 (11.3 million jobs created during the Obama administration, with job growth for a record 75 straight months).

In 2016, auto sales hit a new record high of 17.5 million.

Resources: / MSN Money / Market Watch / YahooFinance / Bloomberg / Reuters / Wall Street Journal and other public news sources

Statistics on the past three presidential administrations:

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