This year U.S. investors are especially keen to get away for the Labor Day end-of-summer week-end. Usually a sleepy and uneventful period, the month of August turned out to be a tumultuous and unsettling with all U.S. stock market indices diving sharply lower and then lower again. Trading activity precedents were set and return track records shattered.
The August episode will inform investor actions when we all come back to the September scene. A few facts to ponder on the beach over the holiday week-end:
· Non-farm payroll payrolls increased by 173,000 jobs in the month of August according to the U.S. Labor Department. The number was well below expectations and represented the smallest gain in five months. On a more encouraging note, by the end of August the unemployment rate had fallen yet again to 5.1%, the lowest level since April 2008.