Stock Market Closes Flat Despite Good Economic Data from Recent Months – Feb. 2, 2017

Daily Stock Market News Feb. 2, 2017:  Stocks closed virtually flat today despite positive employment news for the month of January.  Productivity was also higher for the last half of 2016, although the future trend is not as encouraging.  Uncertainty about the economy is making it difficult for investors.  See more details of today’s economic news and closing numbers.

stock-market-graphic- stock market

U.S. Stock Market Closing Prices Feb. 2, 2017:

Dow Jones Industrial Averages:  19,884.91  -6.03  (-0.03 percent)

S & P 500:  2,280.85  +1.30   (+0.06 percent)

NASDAQ:  5,636.20  -6.45   (-0.11 percent

Crude Oil:  $53.67 a barrel

Today’s Stock Market and Economic News:

Investors continue to get good economic news based on the last quarter of 2016, as well as January of 2017.  Yesterday, it was reported by ADP that businesses hired more people than expected during the month of January.  Private sector businesses added 246,000 employees.  Despite that, uncertainty caused the market to close nearly flat.

In support of the positive employment reports, new claims for unemployment fell more than expected last week.

Another bit of positive economic data from 2016 was that U.S. productivity was up for the last half of the year.  However, going forward, future trends in productivity appear weak.

One area of economic confusion has been Trump’s recent calls for a weaker dollar.

Investors and analysts remain unsure what effect the Trump presidency will have on the economy over the long run.  Some believe that certain sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, will do well in the long run.  Others believe his erratic, destructive rhetoric could damage the economy and the stock market over the next couple of years. The two links below show both sides.

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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