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In the News This Week

The labor market tightened up in June, as the number of available jobs slipped 2% to 5.25 million, and employers filled more of their job openings, according to the JOLTS report. Total hiring picked up 2.3% to 5.18 million – the most in six months. The number of unemployed people for every available job fell to 1.58 – the lowest since August 2007.

Small business optimism ticked up in July following two months of decline, as the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index “clawed back” 1.3 points, driven mostly by increases in expectations for business conditions and sales gains. “The best that can be said about the July index is that there was no further decline from June”, according to NFIB.

Source: NFIB

Businesses built up their stockpiles in June by the most in over two years – inventories rose .8%, marking the biggest increase since January 2013. Sales rose a more modest .2%.

Industrial production picked up .6% in July, boosted by a 10.6% surge in auto production, and marking the strongest in eight months. Mining output and manufacturing production also rose, while utilities fell 1%.

The Securities and Exchange Commission issued an updated Investor Alert warning the public to watch out for fraudulent communications from government impersonators demanding money for securities violations. According to the alert:

“The SEC does not seek money from any person or entity as a penalty or disgorgement for alleged wrongdoing outside of its formal Enforcement process. The SEC would only begin seeking money at the end of that Enforcement process, and only if a finder of fact held the person liable for the violation after the person had the opportunity to contest the charges or to settle the matter. As with past SEC impersonator scams, it is important to note that the SEC does not endorse investment offers, assist in the purchase or sale of securities, or participate in money transfers. SEC staff will not, for example, contact individuals by telephone or email to:

seek assistance with a fund transfer;

forward investment offers to them;

advise individuals that they own certain securities;

tell investors that they are eligible to receive disbursements from an investor claims fund or class action settlement; or

offer grants or other financial assistance (especially for an upfront fee).

The staff of the SEC does not make these types of unsolicited communications, including emails or telephone calls asking for detailed personal and financial information, such as shareholdings and PIN numbers. If you receive a telephone call or email from someone claiming to be from the SEC (or another government agency), always verify the person’s identity. Use the SEC’s personnel locator, (202) 551-6000, to verify whether the caller is an SEC staff member and to speak with him or her directly. In addition, you can call the SEC at (800) SEC-0330 for general information”.


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