The US added way more jobs than expected | A vet drugmaker got snapped up |

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Today's big stories

  1. The US added way more jobs than expected once again in May
  2. Here’s how you can snap up promising AI stocks on the cheap – Read Now
  3. Private equity firm EQT snapped up Dechra, a vet drugmaker

The Patience Of Job(s)

The Patience Of Job(s)

What’s going on here?

The US added more jobs than expected for the fourteenth-straight month – and at this stage, our graphic designer’s running out of ideas.

What does this mean?

Despite rising interest rates and recession chatter, the US job market has been flexing lately, powering spending and stoking inflation. A hefty 339,000 jobs were added last month – leaving April’s 294,000 and economists’ timid 190,000 forecast in the dust. But it wasn’t all job-market jazz hands: there were pockets of weakness starting to show too. After all, the unemployment rate leaped up to 3.7% – a jump not seen since 2020 – and 440,000 more people found themselves out of work in May (the most since the pandemic). Meanwhile, annual wage growth was catching its breath too, slowing to a robust but less-than-expected 4.3%.

Why should I care?

For markets: Potential to pause.

With companies still laying off workers, consumer confidence hitting a six-month low, and economists betting on a recession, the economy might be set for a bit of a cool-down. And that might just be the green light the Federal Reserve (the Fed) needs to pause interest rate hikes this month. That breather would give the last ten rate hikes more time to percolate through the economy, while keeping the door ajar for a potential restart in July, if needed. So while traders may be upping the odds of a hike this month, a pause still seems more likely.

Zooming out: A brush with debt.

Regardless of the Fed’s decision, there’s one fewer catastrophe threatening to bulldoze the economy now. In a rare show of unity, Democrats and Republicans have brokered a deal to suspend the US debt ceiling, successfully dodging what could have been a catastrophic default on US government debt and a full-blown financial crisis.

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Analyst Take

How To Buy AI Stock Winners On The Cheap

How To Buy AI Stock Winners On The Cheap

How do you fancy gaining exposure to AI at double-digit discounts to net asset value (NAV)?

Despite AI being all the rage on global stock markets, that’s the bargain basement pricing still available from the Association of Investment Companies “Technology & Technology Innovation” sector.

Better still, one investment trust outside this sector, whose biggest holding has soared on AI mania, remains priced at an eye-stretching 37% discount to NAV.

That’s today’s Insight: how you can snap up promising AI stocks on the cheap

Read or listen to the Insight here


Women typically retire with less money than men: here’s how you can start bridging the gap

Women in the UK retire with nearly £140,000 less in their pension pots than men on average.

That’s a lot to do with the gender pay gap and societal pressure, and it’s a real problem: women tend to live longer than men, after all, so they should have more saved to see them through.

Women can start closing the gap in a few ways: upping pension pay-ins, maximizing employer contributions, and requesting to join a workplace pension even if earning less than £10,000 a year.

Another tactic that could help is to invest sooner rather than later – and if you’re looking for a simple way to start, stocks and shares ISAs can be a tax-efficient way to get going.

And if you’re keen to explore ISA investing, you can check out different options and find the one for you with HL. Remember investments can go up and down in value so you may not get back what you have invested.

Important Information
This is intended to provide information to help you make your own decisions. It is not personal advice. You should ask for financial advice if you aren’t sure of an investment’s suitability. Tax rules change and benefits depend on individual circumstances.

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Dog-Eat-Drug World

Dog-Eat-Drug World

What’s going on here?

Friday was a furry good day for private equity firm EQT, which snapped up UK veterinary drugmaker Dechra.

What does this mean?

EQT’s been in talks to buy up Dechra since April, but the wooing process had its fair share of hairy moments. See, Dechra found itself in the doghouse when it issued a profit warning in the midst of negotiations. And that update – which certainly didn’t strengthen the drugmaker’s negotiating paw-sition – helped EQT bag a tidy 5% discount. Still, the deal ultimately came in at a cool $5.6 billion, a healthy 44% markup on Dechra’s value before the takeover whispers began. That pricey move will help expand EQT’s pet portfolio – which already includes everything from vet clinics to pet insurers and online retailers – putting the firm in a purr-fect position to capitalize on rising pet ownership rates.

Why should I care?

For markets: Low-cost London.

Private equity firms like EQT are always on the prowl for companies they can polish up and resell at a profit later, and this acquisition is a sign London-listed companies are maintaining their appeal. In fact, data shows that investment firms have splashed out almost $100 billion on UK public companies since 2018. That makes sense too: London-listed companies often trade at a discount compared to their US counterparts – and a lower entry price should make it easier to profit later on.

The bigger picture: Healthy sector.

Rising interest rates and jumpy stock markets meant that dealmaking hit a ten-year low (setting aside the pandemic dip) in the first five months of this year. But healthcare’s been a bright spot, growing to make up a juicy 15% of all deals in the same period. And after Friday’s Dechra news, there could be more of that to come: after all, demand for healthcare is typically as steady as a surgeon’s hand.

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💬 Quote of the day

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

– Benjamin Disraeli (a British statesman)
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👀 And After That...

🚀 AI Investing: The Next Opportunity Beyond ChatGPT: 5pm, June 13th
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🎯 On Our Radar

1. Beige flags. TikTok users are celebrating their partners’ mundane quirks.

2. AI affairs. Lots of folks use chatbots to cheat on exams – but some are cheating on their partners too.

3. Sweet synchronicity. Looking for meaning in randomness can make you happier. 

4. A rose by any other name. There’s a big controversy in the organism-naming world.

5. Just say no. Most of us could stand to improve our refusing abilities.

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