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The Two Charts You Need to Know

Economists produce all manner of tables and graphs to track the economy’s performance.  If we could choose only two, they would be the following. 

Weekly Jobless Claims reports the number of workers filing for unemployment insurance on a weekly basis. It tracks in near real-time the health of the jobs market, and presently shows a generational low in unemployment claims. 

High Yield Corporate Bond Spreads compares the yield on risky corporate bonds versus the yield on high-quality Treasury securities.  When that spread is narrow, as it is today, it suggests the financial system and lending markets are in good shape.  All told, these two indicators confirm the message from the stock market that the U.S. economy is performing well. 

Chart Sources (top and bottom): Hefren-Tillotson, Bloomberg; Data as of 8/31/18.

DISCLAIMER: Past performance does not predict future results. This report is based on data obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Hefren-Tillotson does not, nor any other party, guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report or make any warranties regarding results obtained from its usage. All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute the firms judgment as of the date of this report and are subject to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities herein mentioned.
Brian J. Koble, CFA®
Director of Research

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