One of the last holdouts in the slowing economy story – employment - has now fallen in line.USjobs grew at its slowest pace in more than two years last month, according to the government. And almost all of the gains came from health care and government while the job losses spread beyond homebuilders and manufacturers. Unemployment rose slightly as well from 4.4% to 4.5%. The good news is that inflation pressure from wages appears to be on the decline. Workers' average hourly earnings rose just 0.2% after a 0.3% increase in March. Earnings were up 3.7% from April of last year. Easing inflation will give the Fed more room to loosen the money supply if needed to boost economic growth.

We are nearing the end of October – Hallelujah!  EVERY bear market since the end of WWII has ended before November 1st of that bear market year.  EVERY seasonally strong period (November to April) in the second year of the presidential election cycle (like this one) has produced an up market.  And as Don Hays points out, we know that every time since the 1930’s that six-months of Dow weakness equaled or exceeded by the prior six months, is followed by a six-month period producing gains of at least 40%.