Posts Tagged ‘nonfarm payrolls’

Notes From Underground: Jobs Report Gives the Fed the OK to QT

August 6, 2017

Friday’s unemployment report was on the strong side, although certainly not much stronger than market consensus. Yes, nonfarm payrolls were on the high-end but average hourly earnings were right on target, hours worked remained the same at 34.5 and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.3%, but that could be due to a slight rounding error. The markets traded as if the FED could possibly raise rates in September, but I believe the jobs report provides the impetus for the FED to commence with QT. The U.S. yield curves reacted in such a manner as the 2/10 curve actually rose 3.5 basis points, closing at 91.5.

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Notes From Underground: Unemployment Friday, the Data On Which We’re Dependent?

August 3, 2017

The first Friday of August brings the BLS jobs report. Does it matter for the markets?In my opinion, not unless this number is above 300,000 or the rate falls below 4.1%. Average hourly earnings (AHE) is the critical variable of the economic story. The FOMC and others have been adamant that it is the fear of wage inflation that drives the discussion about either an interest rate increase or a “relatively soon” beginning of quantitative tightening. For our preparation, the market estimate is for a nonfarm payroll number of 170,000, an unemployment rate of 4.4% and, more importantly, a 0.3% increase in AHE. As an aside, a number that Art Cashin likes is the hours worked per week, which is expected to remain at 34.5. The hours worked are examined because even if new jobs aren’t created a strong economy will get employers to seek longer hours for current workers.

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Notes From Underground: G-20 and Unemployment

July 6, 2017

The data “dependent” FED will have a look at the unemployment report Friday and hope to see VERY ROBUST gains in NONFARM PAYROLLS, but most importantly, to see a 0.4% rise in WAGES in order to deflect from  the recent criticism directed at them. The consensus is for an increase of 175,000 jobs and for an average hourly earnings to rise 0.3%. If the data is tepid, the long-end of the curve will attempt to rally, a reversal of the SIGNIFICANT steepening of yield curves seen during the most recent selloff in developed bond markets.

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Notes From Underground: The Unemployment Report Revealed Little

April 9, 2017

The headline nonfarm payroll number was much weaker than expected and confused traders because it was so wide of the April 5 ADP release of 263,000, but the rest of the data was tepid though not weak enough to dissuade the FOMC from further efforts to raise rates. The important average hourly earnings was up 0.2%, in line with expectations, but the weekly hours worked slipped 0.1, which may have been in response to the early March storms. The unemployment rate dropped to a recovery low of 4.5% but that may be because of the amount of workers having left the labor force. The markets’ initial reaction to the headline NFP was the bonds rallied, the dollar weakened and the precious metals rose. By day’s end all the moves reversed from early rallies inspired by the U.S. missiles fired at Syria. The market had deemed the cruise missiles fired at the air force base in Syria as a market destabilizing event, spurring a purchase of what are deemed safe haven assets: GOLD, YEN, BONDS. But the end of day reversal nullified Syria as a one-off event. So the market is confused as to the genuine impact of the unemployment report and we will have to wait for more economic data to weigh all the “communication” coming from FED speakers. Chair Yellen will be speaking with a Q&A session on Monday afternoon so late market action should not be discounted.

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Notes From Underground: After the FOMC, Do Payrolls Mean Anything?

February 2, 2017

This week has presented us with THREE central bank meetings. The results of the BOJ, FED and BOE meetings were no change to the current policies. So, with inflation on the rise and equity markets close to all-time highs for the U.S. and multi-year highs for Europe, the overseers of credit feel no need to tighten monetary conditions. Chair Yellen and her fellow decision makers are evidently comfortable that the wheels of legislation grind slowly and will wait until there is some evidence of fiscal stimulus and tax reform before applying the brakes to a possibly overstimulated economy. The BOJ was cautious ahead of Prime Minister Abe’s meeting with President Trump. To understand the domestic politics of Abe’s possible bilateral deal with the U.S. I am linking to an article from the Asian edition of the Wall Street Journal by Tobias Harris (my progeny).

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Notes From Underground: Financial Repression Authority Podcast With Peter Boockvar

January 8, 2017

Yes, the talk of the weekend has been the 0.4% increase in the average hourly earnings embedded in the jobs data. The Fed had three members speak after the data release and all noted that the wage gains may mean that we are at full employment. Jeffrey Lacker was the most concerned about the FED being behind the proverbial curve. My analysis will be later in the week but first I wanted to share the FRA podcast as it includes the wisdom of Peter Boockvar of the Lindsey Group. Enjoy and I look forward to your comments as they will be answered and hopefully provide substance for an upcoming post.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Notes From Underground: First Friday Of The New Month, You Must Be ‘Jobbing’ Me

January 5, 2017

I’m still nursing a New Year’s hangover. It takes a long time for the mind to rid itself of all the news the mainstream media deems fit to read. But as the third rock keeps spinning, markets will keep moving and we will strive to untangle the ball of confusion. After today’s tepid ADP data the market has settled into a consensus for 175,000 nonfarm payrolls. Again, I would love to see a number greater than 250,000 just to test the recent market action. BONDS rallied, currencies rallied against the DOLLAR, precious metals are showing early year strength and commodities have held support levels in the age of TRUMFLATIONARY EXPANSIONARY EXPECTATIONS.

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Notes From Underground: The Markets’ Christmas Wish: A Nonfarm Payroll Number of +300,000

December 1, 2016

The first Friday of the month brings big news for the data dependent Fed. The market consensus is for 185,000 job gain and average hourly earnings increase of 0.2% and the work week to remain unchanged at 34.4 hours. In my opinion, a HUGE increase of 300,000 jobs with another 0.4% increase in wages (similar to last month) would bring great pressure on the FOMC to increase FED FUNDS more than the market’s expectation of 25 basis points. What I am saying is purely THEORETICAL but it would make for an interesting discussion for the DATA DEPENDENT FOMC. It’s especially interesting as the exuberance of the tax cuts, infrastructure projects, rollback of regulation, the equity markets should prompt the asymmetrical nature out of the FOMC decision-making process.

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Notes From Underground: Measuring Economic and Political Outcomes; Analytics Yes, Flawed Constructs No

November 6, 2016

We are in the period when financial markets are depending on measurements of human actions to proscribe probabilities for profitable investment. On Friday, the jobs report reflected the measurement of labor statistical data in order to achieve some forward-looking view on the health of the U.S. economy. The jobs data was a mixed result as nonfarm payrolls in the private sector were weaker than consensus but the important average hourly earnings (AHE) increased at a robust 0.4%, which SHOULD give the hawks on the FOMC a push to raise rates. But of course one month’s robust data is certainly not a trend. Chair Yellen has been laying the ground work for the data running hotter for longer so 0.4% is a positive but there is room for further gains in wage increases. Besides, if the wage gains are coming out of corporate profits all the better from the perspective of a career labor economist.

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Notes From Underground: After the G-20 and Nonfarm Payrolls, There’s Laborious Trading Ahead

September 5, 2016

As we bid farewell to the dog days of summer, here are some issues that will set the agenda for the month ahead:

1. Friday’s employment data made the picture murkier for the FOMC meeting later this month. The nonfarm payrolls were on the weak side, and, as Art Cashin correctly pointed out on CNBC, the bigger issue was a drop in the hours of the work week, which when measured in terms of jobs gained/loss resulted in a loss of 300,000 jobs. The FED jaw flappers keep orally pushing for a rate hike on September 21 but this jobs report clouds the issue.

The talking heads report ad nauseam that several Fed members believe a rate hike possible but as I wrote last week, if the fed funds rate is not raised the critical component of the FOMC release will be the outcome of the vote. If Stanley Fischer doesn’t vote for a RATE HIKE then HE SHOULD RESIGN FROM THE FOMC. It is that simple for if Chair Yellen prevails in achieving another 9-1 vote then it is without question Yellen’s FOMC and all other ivory tower mouthpieces should remain silent. The Federal Reserve Board is under mounting criticism due the inconsistency of its members’ public pronouncements. The FED‘s credibility is being called into question, a potentially disastrous  situation in a FIAT CURRENCY SYSTEM.

2. The G-20 meeting presented great selfies and photo-ops but little else. THIS MEETING REFLECTED THE STRAINS IN THE GLOBAL ORDER WHICH HAVE BEEN “PAPERED OVER” BY THE CENTRAL BANKS. Japan set the tone of the meeting by releasing a paper to the G-20 warning the world and especially Europe about the negative fallout from an acrimonious end to the BREXIT negotiations. Japanese corporations have massive investments in British capital projects and if British exports are to be penalized then Japan threatened to remove production and jobs from the U.K. and other European centers. I THINK THE JAPANESE WANTED TO SEND A MESSAGE TO ALL THE PARTIES IN THE BREXIT DISCUSSION, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, THIS WAS JAPANESE OFFICIALS RETALIATING FOR BEING SINGLED OUT AS A CURRENCY MANIPULATOR AT THE PREVIOUS G-20 MEETING. Japan prevented the Chinese from making them the focal point … yet again.

Before the release of the G-20 Communique, the U.S. and China held a bi-lateral meeting and one of the main issues discussed between Presidents Obama and XI was foreign currency movements. A fact sheet released after the meeting said, “China and U.S. Agree to Refrain From Competitive Currency Devaluations.” It may be a major political victory for the Chinese if the U.S. Treasury was deemed to be a serial currency manipulator in a similar vein of the PBOC. And this would be a serious blow to U.S. prestige. The actual language of the final communique was generic and sanitized: “We affirm our previous exchange rate commitments, including that we will refrain  from competitive devaluations and we will not target our exchange rates for competitive purposes.” This is nonsense of the first order for as many critics of the Fed and ECB have argued over the previous six years: QE POLICY is a domestic monetary program with a weakened currency as a desired outcome. The G-20 reference is mere political posturing for the domestic constituency.

3. The Reserve Bank of Australia and the ECB have scheduled meetings this week. Tonight at 11:30 CDT the RBA will announce its interest rate intentions. The consensus is for no change from its current 1.5% overnight cash rate. The Aussie dollar is very weak against the Kiwi dollar, its main trading partner, so I’m in agreement with consensus. The important point is that it’s Governor Stevens’s last meeting and what he says about the Chinese economy should be of interest. THURSDAY will be an important day as Mario Draghi will hold a press conference following the ECB’s meeting. President Draghi has been very quiet of late and has allowed his underlings to speak about policy. Draghi didn’t even attend the Jackson Hole Conference. The European economy is sputtering. Italy is facing a November referendum. And, more importantly, German Chancellor Merkel’s CDU party suffered a miserable election result on Sunday with the anti-Euro AfD party garnering the largest increase in support.

The media paints the AfD success as a response to an anti-immigrant agenda. There may be an element of fact in that but the German middle class is raising its voice against the FINANCIAL REPRESSION  foisted upon German savers as a product of ECB policies. If President Draghi is threatened by German domestic politics look for an increase in the ECB QE program to 90/100 billion euros a month from 80 billion in an effort to build the ECB balance sheet, weakening the euro and simultaneously pushing borrowing costs lower. Draghi is a man in a hurry as the political winds turn against the ECB. The problem for Draghi is that the  massive QE programs promoted by Bernanke and the BOJ have failed to have the desired effects. Bloated balance sheets for the sake of bailing out debt-stressed nations provide political fodder for the anti-euro political tide rising across the EU. Mario Draghi has grabbed unlimited power for the ECB, BUT FOR HOW LONG? Yes, our work has just begun.