Yesterday it was incredibly strong employment data that pushed stocks lower. Today stocks are modestly lower again despite weaker “official” numbers.

Meanwhile, gold, silver are a bit higher. Treasuries are somewhat lower along with the dollar.

On the news front…

The ADP employment report blew the doors off earlier this week. But the government’s “official” data for June was less robust. The Labor Department reported the economy created 209,000 jobs in June, weaker than the average forecast of 225,000. My educated guess is Wall Street had an even-higher “whisper number” after the ADP data, too.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6% (in line with forecasts), while average hourly earnings rose 0.4% (slightly hotter than forecast). It’s still likely the Federal Reserve raises interest rates at its July 25-26 meeting, though, as the data is far from recessionary. A separate report on job openings and labor turnover yesterday also showed still-solid job availability and stable layoff activity in May.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s trip to China included harsh comments for the host country today. She said China treats US multinational firms operating there poorly, while also subsidizing state-owned Chinese firms that compete with them. US-traded vehicles for investing in China have performed poorly of late, with the $7.7 billion iShares MSCI China ETF (MCHI) down 6% year-to-date and 17% in the last 12 months.

Finally, it looks like Apple (AAPL) is going to slow-walk the release of its Vision Pro augmented reality/virtual reality headset. Retail outlets in major-market cities like New York and Los Angeles will get first pass at the headsets in early 2024, with potential buyers able to demo them in cordoned-off areas of the stores. Then they’ll be released to the rest of Apple’s 270 locations, with international markets like the UK and Canda following later in 2024.