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US Stocks rose slightly yesterday to a fresh record high lifted by strong economic data and new developments between the U.S. and China on trade.
 
The service side of the U.S. economy rebounded in October after growth tapered off in the prior month to a three-year low, aided by reduced trade tensions between the U.S. and China.  The Institute for Supply Management’s said its non-manufacturing index rose to 54.7% last month from a 52.6% reading in September.  13 of the 17 industries tracked by ISM said their businesses were expanding.

The number of job openings in the United States slipped in September for the fourth month in a row to 7 million from 7.3 million.  Openings have declined as companies cut back on hiring with the U.S. economy growing more slowly. The percentage of people in the private sector who chose to leave their old jobs, known as the quit rate, edged down to 2.6% from 2.7%.

 

It turns out workers get more done and hate their jobs less when they are in the office less.  Last summer, Microsoft's Japan office tried an experiment. For one month, the office closed on Fridays, giving workers an extra day off, while paying them a full-time salary. Management also decided that no meetings would last more than 30 minutes and urged employees to cut down the amount of time they spent responding to emails. Called the "Work Life Choice Challenge," the experiment was wildly successful.  Measured by sales per employee, productivity reportedly went up 40 percent compared to the same time period the year before. The company also used 23 percent less electricity.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I'm Tyler Simones

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