The unemployment rate fell to a nearly five-decade low in September, punctuating a remarkable rebound in the 10 years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers set off a global financial crisis.
By almost any measure, the American economy is humming. Gross domestic product is on pace for its best year since the housing bubble of the mid-2000s. Consumers and businesses are the most confident they have been in years. Stock market indexes hit record highs during the quarter.
The turnaround from a decade ago is hard to overstate. In September 2008, American employers cut 443,000 jobs as the financial system collapsed around them. More than seven million more jobs evaporated in the months that followed.
But when the hiring engine finally kicked back into gear, it did so in historic fashion. The 134,000 jobs added in September made it the 96th consecutive month of growth — eight full years, double the previous record. Employers have added close to 20 million jobs during that streak.
Crucially, this growth is reaching groups that struggled in the early years of the recovery. The unemployment rates for African-Americans and Latinos are both near all-time lows. And teenagers, less-educated workers, and disabled Americans have also made progress in recent months.
Much can and will happen between now and December 31, including the midterm elections. There are a range of geopolitical events that may come to a climax, including trade deals and Brexit. Although the pre-midterm period and the months thereafter are often best times to be in stocks, it does not take much to upset an aging bull market, as we saw with the volatility that kicked off the beginning of October. Rather than run to the sidelines in an uncertain environment, however, our portfolio managers continue to defer to the strong fundamentals in the economy and earnings, which argue for remaining fully invested and riding out the market’s ups and downs.
To discuss your financial goals and how to meet them, please contact an Azzad investment advisor at 888.86.AZZAD. Thank you for your continued trust and investment.
Notes: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indexes listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.