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Earnings Season Preview

January 14, 2014
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While 2013 is over, a lot of data for the past year is still flowing in. Last Friday, investors were fairly surprised by a jobs report that showed the unemployment rate drop handily from 7% to 6.7%. Yet monthly job gains were only 74,000, the weakest of 2013. On the surface, this makes little sense. Digging deeper, we find that the big drop in the unemployment rate was mostly due to people dropping out of the labor force. As a reminder, if you are not in the labor force—students, retirees, etc.—you are not considered unemployed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a lot of people dropped out in December. (more…)