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It hasn’t been an especially good week for economic data so far with notable weakness in employment-related data. Besides the JOLTS and ADP reports which were weaker than expected, the employment component of the ISM Manufacturing report was the lowest in over two years while the employment component of the Services report declined relative to February and is barely clinging to positive territory. Initial Jobless Claims were also just released and came in at 228K relative to expectations for 200K. Continuing Claims were 1.823 mln versus forecasts for 1.7 mln. Initial Claims were the highest since last December while Continuing Claims were the highest since December 2021 So, you can add more weak employment data to this week’s pile. In reaction to the report, futures saw a modest tick lower but nothing major.
All of these indicators are a sideshow, though. Tomorrow’s Non-Farm Payrolls report will either confirm the weakness we have seen in these indicators or render them irrelevant (for a few days at least). Unfortunately, the equity market will be closed for the main event in observance of Good Friday. Bond markets will be open, and lately, they’ve been more volatile than the stock market anyway, so don’t think there won’t be any fireworks. And if that isn’t enough for you, crypto never sleeps!
Open or closed tomorrow, we’ll be watching to see if another epic streak can continue or come to an end. Monthly Non-Farm Payrolls have come in better than expected for eleven straight months, so a better-than-expected report would make it a full year. Never before has the been a streak that long or for that matter even half as long.
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