We scour the best of publications that cover the markets & economy, the world of business & finance, asset & wealth management, monetary & fiscal policy, Europe & Asia, the news & politics, science & technology … and throw in a bit of arts & entertainment, just to keep it light. Here’s what we found particularly compelling in the last 24 hours:Biggest question facing U.S. economy: Why are people dropping out of the workforce? (WonkBlog)
Lipper Fund Flows: Equity Funds Off To A Dismal Start For 2014 (Thomson Reuters)
Bill Gates 2.0? Keep dreaming, Mr. Zuckerberg (Fortune)
Yahoo’s Mayer Looking for TV-Sized Hit (AdWeek)
Stuck: Why Americans Stopped Moving to the Richest States (The Atlantic)
Hilsenrath Analysis: Job Report Alone Unlikely to Alter Fed’s Course (WSJ)
Succinct summation of week’s events (Big Picture)
Is the next wave of job growth in the US coming from construction? (SoberLook)
What Would Ben Graham Think? (TheStreet.com)
4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Checklists — and 4 Reasons You Should (Institutional Investor)
Is The Presidential Cycle Inverting? (Pragmatic Capitalism)
Christine Lagarde sets out global growth policy priorities (Project Syndicate)
Mother Nature Sends Oil Sector Strong Message (Oil Price)
The Pope Wants More People Like Bill Gates Not President Obama (Forbes)
Golden Globe Awards 2014: Picks and Predictions (ABC News)
The charts below are courtesy of ADP (ht SoberLook), Quartz and the WSJ.
SoberLook commented on the strong ADP jobs report that came out Wednesday (which told a decidedly different story than the Labor Department’s nonfarm payroll report yesterday). ADP reported that private-sector construction employment expanded by 48,000 jobs last month, the most since February 2006, and more than double November’s gain of 21,000 jobs. Given particularly chilly recent weather, ADP’s report had some economists scratching their heads.
- “The ADP estimate for December Construction Payrolls is a remarkable +48,000,” analysts at Stone & McCarthy Research Associates wrote in a note. “The 48,000 increase seems high to us, especially in light of the unusually cold weather in later November and early December.” However, Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which prepares the report using ADP’s data, said conditions weren’t stormy enough to hit jobs. “People still put up homes in the cold. A lot of construction does not go up in cold-weather areas anyway,” Zandi said.
Quartz notes that the US jobs report, with a scant 74,000 new jobs reportedly created in the month of December, not only disappointed and fell well short of consensus estimates, but marked the weakest month in three years.\
Quartz reports that China’s exports depend on global demand. The picture is mixed. Overall, exports to the US and the EU, which account for a combined 32% of China’s total exports, picked up in 2013. But last month, they grew only 3% and 3.9% respectively compared to December 2012, a big drop from the 17.7% and 18.4% year-over-year growth in November. That’s partly due to the fact that exports to both in December 2012 were unusually strong.