Bears have long complained that while Wall Street is partying, Main Street is struggling—proof, they said, that stocks are overvalued.
Thursday's jobs report provided just the latest evidence that that's really no longer true.
288,000 jobs were created in June, and the unemployment rate fell from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Average hourly earning ticked up to $24.45. And while some have fretted about the 523,000 decline in full-time workers (on a seasonally adjusted basis) registered in the noisey houshold survey, the average weekly hours of all private nonfarm employees held steady at 34.5.
The report, which shows plus-200,000 job growth for the fifth straight month, is seen as a relief after the first quarter GDP growth number was revised to show shrinkage of 2.9 percent.
"The economy's improving, and we're at in a good cyclical place," said Mark Dow, a money manger who writes at the Behavioral Macro blog. "A lot of people who are tempted to look at things glass-half-empty kind of got sucked in by the negative 2.9 GDP number, but this drives a stake thorugh the heart of people who are hoping that the economy " is really bad.
"The economy went from anemic to slugglish, and maybe if we're lucky it will go from sluggish to modest," he added.
"As far as stocks go, I don't really see any need to get out of longs yet," said Jim Iuorio of TJM Institutional Services. "Right now, it seems like we're in the perfect situation, where the numbers are good, the Fed is in no hurry to get away, and I think that probably should continue for a while."
Michael Block, chief strategist at New York-based broker-dealer Rhino Trading Partners, echoed that sentiment.
"Off we go," he said. "It's a good-looking number. And meanwhile, let's face it, the Fed is not focused on any kind of economic thresholds."