This just in: CEO Chris Shuba in Financial Planning

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

In June, 372K new jobs were added to the economy, which was considerably more than the expected 265K new jobs, though slower than May’s 384K addition. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.6%, though there were some slightly mixed data under the hood. This included a slight decline in the participation rate as well as downward revisions to prior data, though, there was an improvement in the underemployment rate (U-6) and the job gains were broad-based across the economy.

Mortgage rates fell by the most since the GFC, with the average 30-year fixed dropping to 5.3% from 5.7% per Freddie Mac.

Factory orders increased by 1.6% in May, ahead of the expected 0.5% gain and an acceleration of the 0.7% rise in April, which was revised upward from 0.3%. Orders have now risen in 12 of the last 13 months.

The US trade deficit shrank to the lowest point of the year in May, as exports of goods and services rose 1.2% to a record $255.9 billion, offsetting a 0.6% rise in imports. Recall that surging imports were a significant contributor (-3.2 percentage points) to the first quarter’s negative GDP figure, so trade balance improvements will help second quarter GDP.

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