Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Stock Market Deviation from Overall Outlook for 2020 - 22nd Feb 20
The Shanghai Composite and Coronavirus: A Revealing Perspective - 22nd Feb 20
Baltic Dry, Copper, Oil, Tech and China Continue Call for Stock Market Crash Soon - 22nd Feb 20
Gold Warning – This is Not a Buying Opportunity - 22nd Feb 20
Is The Technology Sector FANG Stocks Setting Up For A Market Crash? - 22nd Feb 20
Coronavirus China Infection Statistics Analysis, Probability Forecasts 1/2 Million Infected - 21st Feb 20
Is Crude Oil Firmly on the Upswing Now? - 20th Feb 20
What Can Stop the Stocks Bull – Or At Least, Make It Pause? - 20th Feb 20
Trump and Economic News That Drive Gold, Not Just Coronavirus - 20th Feb 20
Coronavirus COVID19 UK Infection Prevention, Boosting Immune Systems, Birmingham, Sheffield - 20th Feb 20
Silver’s Valuable Insights Into the Upcoming PMs Rally - 20th Feb 20
Coronavirus Coming Storm Act Now to Protect Yourselves and Family to Survive COVID-19 Pandemic - 19th Feb 20
Future Silver Prices Will Shock People, and They’ll Kick Themselves for Not Buying Under $20… - 19th Feb 20
What Alexis Kennedy Learned from Launching Cultist Simulator - 19th Feb 20
Stock Market Potential Short-term top - 18th Feb 20
Coronavirus Fourth Turning - No One Gets Out Of Here Alive! - 18th Feb 20
The Stocks Hit Worst From the Coronavirus - 18th Feb 20
Tips on Pest Control: How to Prevent Pests and Rodents - 18th Feb 20
Buying a Custom Built Gaming PC From - 1. Delivery and Unboxing - 17th Feb 20
BAIDU (BIDU) Illustrates Why You Should NOT Invest in Chinese Stocks - 17th Feb 20
Financial Markets News Report: February 17, 2020 - February 21, 2020 - 17th Feb 20
NVIDIA (NVDA) GPU King For AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 17th Feb 20
Stock Market Bubble - No One Gets Out Of Here Alive! - 17th Feb 20
British Pound GBP Trend Forecast 2020 - 16th Feb 20
SAMSUNG AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 16th Feb 20
Ignore the Polls, the Markets Have Already Told You Who Wins in 2020 - 16th Feb 20
UK Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic WARNING! Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham Outbreaks Probable - 16th Feb 20
iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF IBB AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 15th Feb 20
Gold Stocks Still Stalled - 15th Feb 20
Is The Technology Stocks Sector Setting Up For A Crash? - 15th Feb 20
UK Calm Before Corona Virus Storm - Infections Forecast into End March 2020 - 15th Feb 20
The Growing Weaponization of Space - 14th Feb 20
Will the 2020s Be Good or Bad for the Gold Market? - 14th Feb 20
Predictive Modeling Suggests Gold Price Will Break Above $1650 Within 15~30 Days - 14th Feb 20
UK Coronavirus COVID-19 Infections and Deaths Trend Forecast 2020 - 14th Feb 20
Coronavirus, Powell and Gold - 14th Feb 20
How the Corona Virus is Affecting Global Stock Markets - 14th Feb 20
British Pound GBP Trend and Elliott Wave Analysis - 13th Feb 20
Owning and Driving a Land Rover Discovery Sport in 2020 - 2 YEAR Review - 13th Feb 20
Shipping Rates Plunge, Commodities and Stocks May Follow - 13th Feb 20
Powell says Fed will aggressively use QE to fight next recession - 13th Feb 20
PALLADIUM - THIS Is What a Run on the Bank for Precious Metals Looks Like… - 13th Feb 20
Bitcoin: "Is it too late to get in?" Get Answers Now - 13th Feb 20
China Coronavirus Infections Soar by 1/3rd to 60,000, Deaths Jump to 1,367 - 13th Feb 20
Crude Oil Price Action – Like a Coiled Spring Already? - 13th Feb 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Nadeem Walayat Financial Markets Analysiis and Trend Forecasts

Don’t Be Fooled By The Jobs Report!

Economics / Employment May 06, 2011 - 12:37 PM GMT

By: Sy_Harding


This was a week that confirmed that the economic recovery has stalled.

We knew from the previous week that economic growth (GDP) slowed to just 1.8% in the March quarter from 3.1% in the December quarter.

This week it was reported that the ISM Non-Mfg Index, which tracks the service sector of the economy, plunged to 52.8 in April from 57.3 in March (versus the consensus estimate of economists that it would improve to 57.8).

It was a shocking report since the ISM Non-Mfg Index covers just about every business sector that is not in the ISM Mfg Index. It includes everything from education, healthcare, finance, insurance, and retail, to technology services, transportation, and mining, accounting for more than 80% of U.S. employment. At the same time it was reported that the ISM New Orders Index also plunged substantially, from 64.1 in March to 52.7 in April, not encouraging for service sector business activity for the next few months.

Commodity markets, already worried about what slowing global economies would do to demand for materials and supplies, reacted with further substantial declines. By the close on Thursday, the price of crude oil had collapsed from its high of $114.80 a barrel a week ago, to $99.75. The S&P GSCI Index of 24 raw materials fell 11.5% in just five days.

Fortunately, the stock market’s reaction to the further evidence that the economic recovery is in trouble was more muted. By the close on Thursday, the S&P 500 was down only 1.8% for the week.

And thankfully, on Friday morning the Labor Department released its monthly jobs report, which showed that 244,000 new jobs were created in April, 60,000 more than had been forecast, and the stock market surged up in reaction, with the Dow up 150 points within minutes of the market’s open.

Indeed the jobs report was good news, even though it was also reported that the unemployment rate rose to 9.0% from its previous level of 8.8%.

But did the better than expected jobs report cancel out the even more surprising plunge in the ISM service sector index in April, reported the previous day?

I don’t think so. Even within the employment report the numbers show that 13.7 million people remained unemployed in April, still almost double the number just before the last recession began in December, 2007. And including part-time workers who have not been able to find full-time jobs, and those who have given up looking for a job, the “underemployed” rate rose to 15.9% in April. That seems to more closely resemble what the ISM Index said about the economy slowing further in April.

And here’s the thing about the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report. As my subscribers know, I have always called it ‘The Big One’ as far as economic reports go. That’s because it’s so difficult for economists to forecast that it comes in with a big surprise in one direction or the other more often than any other series of reports. And that surprise results in a one or two day triple-digit move by the Dow in one direction or the other more often than any other report.

But the rest of that pattern is that the move is then most often reversed over the following two or three days, and the market returns to whatever its focus was before the report.

In this instance, with the 1st quarter earnings reporting season pretty much over, that is liable to be a refocus on the slowing economic recovery that had it troubled prior to the jobs report.

Meanwhile, the collapse in commodity prices was another example of what happens when markets become overbought, and investor sentiment reaches extremes of bullishness, as was the case with commodities. The consensus opinion a week ago was that they could only move higher. $2,000 gold, $75 silver, $150 a barrel oil seemed assured. But when a surprise hits and investors head in a rush for the exit they discover they can’t all get through the door at once. Since most everyone interested in commodities was already invested there was no one willing to buy what they wanted to sell except at much lower prices.

Perhaps a cautionary tale for the stock market as it enters its unfavorable season with investors so bullish and anxious to jump in on any dip?

Sy Harding is president of Asset Management Research Corp, publishers of the financial website, and the free daily market blog,

© 2011 Copyright Sy Harding- All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules