This just in: CEO Chris Shuba on Schwab Network

Read the highlights of this week’s commentary from Helios:

  • Top-line job growth was strong in February, following the blowout January jobs report. Nonfarm payrolls rose 275k vs. economists’ estimates of a 200k gain, and faster than January’s (downwardly revised) 229k gain. Significant downward revisions for the prior two reports amounted to -167k fewer jobs created than previously reported.
  • The labor market showed initial signs of cooling, as the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose from 3.7% to 3.9%, the highest in two years. Wage growth slowed to +0.1%, down from +0.5% in January, but was still up 4.3% from a year ago.
  • If this cooling trend continues, the Fed may be more likely to cut rates this summer. The big question now is whether this week’s February Consumer Price Index (CPI) report will reveal January’s rise as an outlier. Economists forecast a 0.4% monthly increase in February’s headline CPI, with the annual inflation rate expected to stay at 3.1%.

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