Payrolls: Great!

There’s no one around on the stock market to celebrate, but this morning’s jobs report was fantastic. (Unless you’re Barry Ritholtz, of course, in which case it’s “not a big number”.) Not only did March payrolls rise by a very strong 180,000, but both February and January were revised upwards as well, and unemployment is now down to 4.4%; economists had actually been expecting it to rise. Hell, there was even a rise in construction employment, although it didn’t quite make up for the fall in February.

Bonds are down half a point or so, stock futures are up a little, and Fed fund futures are rapidly giving up any hope of a rate cut.

Standard disclaimer, here: although the monthly payrolls report gets a lot of press and can send markets gyrating wildly, the margin of error is enormous, and sober observers have started using words like “meaningless” and “random”. All the same, the bulls have a smile on their faces this morning. Maybe it’s because they’ve been proved right; on the other hand, maybe it’s just because a lot of them have the day off.

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2 Responses to Payrolls: Great!

  1. Steve says:

    Lot of unhappy bears today.

  2. Caravaggio says:

    My trading strategy assumes the market goes too far in creating and believing a narrative, usually on the pessimistic side. It’s essentially a form of mean reversion strategy, where timing is key. With so much pessimism priced in to the Fed curve, it was increasingly apparent that the balance of risks was starting to become skewed. And why didn’t I have the position on? Hindsight is a wonderful thing…not.

    PS – I’m heading over to Barry’s piece to see how he manages to put a spin a superbly positive report…it’s likely a lesson in itself.

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