Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Median income shows solid gains, stock markets close higher

U.S. Census bureau data shows median U.S. income gained more than 5 percent in 2015 to about $56,500, as reported at fivethirtyeight.com.

The Census Bureau released some positive economic data earlier this month, finding that the median U.S. income rose to $56,516 in 2015, more than 5 percent higher than a year prior. The bureau also found that the number of Americans living in poverty dropped by 3.5 million, the highest amount reduced since 1968.

These are significant milestones for post-Recession economic progress, as wages have not increased as quickly as the number of jobs added since 2009. This newer income data suggests that wages are finally catching up.

Fed stalls again on rate hike; stocks respond to U.S. presidential debates

A more sluggish August jobs report, however, prevented Federal Reserve members from raising the central bank's benchmark rates at its September meeting once again - there has been no rate hike yet in 2016. To members of the Fed, 151,000 new jobs added in August and a steady unemployment rate at 4.9 percent is acceptable, but not strong enough to validate raising rates yet. The next Fed meeting will be held in December, following the 2016 general election.

Monday night's first U.S. presidential debate proved to be a boon to the stock market, reacting favorably to a perceived debate victory by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The former first lady is viewed by stock investors as a more predictable option compared to her Republican opponent, real estate maven Donald Trump. The stock markets will likely see more fluctuation leading up to the election in early November.