May 4, 2017
In a narrow victory, Republicans have voted to repeal Obamacare which now goes to the Senate where further debate and another tight vote is expected. The day's economic data include another batch of very low jobless claims data that are pointing to health in the labor market and strength for tomorrow's employment report. Jobs may be plentiful but productivity is weak, falling at a 0.6 percent annualized pace in the first quarter and driving up labor costs which rose at a 3.0 percent pace.
Stocks were narrowly mixed once again with the Dow posting a fractional loss to 20,951. Oil fell very sharply, down $2-1/2 to $45.50 and back at 9-month lows amid talk of over production. Gold, at $1,230, fell $20 for a second straight day. Rates edged higher while the dollar moved lower reflecting strength in the euro and confidence that Le Pen will lose this month's election in France. The dollar index fell a sharp 0.7 percent to 98.73.