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Financial Markets Braced For Bad U.S. Non Farm Payrolls Figures

Economics / Financial Markets 2009 Feb 06, 2009 - 03:05 AM GMT

By: PaddyPowerTrader

Economics Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleU.S. weekly jobless claims crashed through the 600K barrier yesterday for the first time since 1982. But the market took heart from chatter that accounting rules requiring banks to mark assets to market may be suspended. A mid-day turnaround resulted in US indices ending up yesterday by the time of the close.


Today's Market Moving Stories

  • Democratic Senator Harry Red said he's enough votes to pass the Obamalus. A Sunday vote looks likely.
  • There are expectations of a big bang speech from U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner next Monday. He is expected to provide details of the administration's financial-recovery plan which will likely include guarantees on bank's illiquid assets and possibly the formation of a ‘ bad bank ' that would purchase toxic assets from banks. If the grand plan disappoints or underwhelms, it will be lookout below for equities and Bank of America in particular.
  • Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said that the Government is likely to make a decision on the re-capitalisation of the Irish banks in days rather than weeks. Both AIB and Bank of Ireland are still haggling with the final details of the expected €8 billion deal. It appears the plan will not be accompanied by an insurance scheme or a bad bank creation.
  • More bad news for carmakers. Toyota, whose credit rating has been cut by Moody's, has tripled its annual loss estimate to $4.94bn, its first loss since WWII. Nissan, who are due to report Monday, is seeking a loan from the Japanese government in a sure sign of just how pear shaped things are going for global automakers. Mitsubishi have already sought some Yen. Europeans seem to be faring little better with Vovlo coming in with a loss (on weak truck sales) this morning and some gloomy guidance (though the stock is up). But BMW's results were a shade better than expected. They even said they'd make a profit for the full year, how novel.
  • Those seeking to go long on some stocks may want to look at Douglas McIntyre's top 10 recovery plays .

Implications Of Yesterday's Interest Rate Decisions
The Pound Sterling reacted favourably to yesterday's decision by the BoE to cut policy rates 50bp to 1.0%, the lowest in history. Further, there was nothing in the statement to prompt the market to change its call for another, and final, 50bp cut at the March meeting.

GBP hit a two month high versus the EUR as the ECB kept rates on hold, with Trichet's downbeat dovish rhetoric little changed form the January meeting (though he did more or less confirm a ½% cut at their March love in). But the soft underbelly of the Euro remains the inability of the currency's central bank to grasp the full extent of the abyss into which the Continent is starring. If things are as bad as the picture painted by Trichet yesterday then why didn't they cut rates NOW instead of worrying about text book “liquidity traps”? Their argument is that its TOO SOON since the last meeting; trouble is the next one may be far too late.

Equities

  • As I mentioned some time ago it looks like Babcock and Brown is toast with common equity holders losing everything (an all too familiar theme).
  • Some better tidings from French luxury goods maker LVMH who are up 5%+ after they surprised on the upside.
  • Another European stock up this AM is Infineon (+10%) after a smaller than expected loss.
  • Irish airline Aer Lingus passenger numbers just released reflect the dire state of the domestic economy with a sharp fall in those taking the more lucrative long haul flights (down 8.6%). These trends seem likely to persist as the gloom deepens and people retrench.
  • Élan will be in focus today as BIIB reports its Q4 numbers. Of interest will new any fresh news on Tysabri, commentary from BIIB on Élan's strategic review and any further updates about activist shareholder Carl Icahn.

Data Today
The unusual spate of upbeat GBP sentiment may be tested this morning with UK industrial production data for December, which I expect to be softer than its consensus of a 2.3% MoM contraction. With manufacturing surveys firmly negative, it is doubtful whether confirmation of industry's malaise will prompt a lasting impact on GBP. Indeed, after being hammered for several weeks and being faced with an almost daily procession of bad news, the currency may at last have found a base.

After that, it's time to prepare for the big one, US nonfarm payrolls and employment report at 13.30. The economy lost an average of half a million jobs a month in the final quarter of last year, which was the fastest rate of decline in more than 50 years. There is little prospect of any real improvement in the coming months either. Initial jobless claims are above 600,000 a week, while the employment indices in the ISM surveys are still at exceptionally depressed levels. And Wednesday's ADP survey pointed to private payrolls falling by 522,000. As a rule of thumb most private sector economists add 20k to this to get their forecast as the ADP number excludes government / Federal employment, hence the consensus for to today is –540k!

Watch for downward revisions to the previous month's data and any tick up in the unemployment rate higher than the forecasted 7.5% as this is very politically sensitive. Given that unemployment is a classic lagging indicator and equity markets are in theory forward looking, stock markets have, according to studies, historically bottomed eight months before the trough in unemployment! That's the good news. The bad news is that most commentators don't see unemployment bottoming until 2010 so they see equities tracking sideways for 2009.

And Finally… It Seems It's Bye Bye Dubai

Disclosures = None

By The Mole
PaddyPowerTrader.com

The Mole is a man in the know. I don’t trade for a living, but instead work for a well-known Irish institution, heading a desk that regularly trades over €100 million a day. I aim to provide top quality, up-to-date and relevant market news and data, so that traders can make more informed decisions”.

© 2009 Copyright PaddyPowerTrader - 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.

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