Friday, January 5, 2018

Huge Miss on December Non-Farm Payrolls Won't Trigger Sell the News Event

Stocks ripped higher on Thursday on pure hope and fumes, in anticipation of Friday's BLS release of December non-farm payroll data.

As mentioned in yesterday's post, the market has set itself up for a "sell the news" event, having already bought the rumor in the form of an incredible 250,000 December private jobs gain from ADP.

Being a case of which numbers should be trusted, investors will probably accept the BLS, being that it is the "official" number, despite the wild swings, methodology and revisions for which the data set is so famous.

On Friday morning, the BLS announced a gain of a mere 148,000 net new jobs in December, on expectations of 190,000, the lowest print since July 2017. [full release here]

The unemployment rate remained moored at 4.1%, a rather humorous figure, given that the BLS counts part-time jobs and working more than one day a week as a "job."

As of this writing, roughly 15 minutes prior to the market open, stock futures are higher, but well off the levels seen earlier this morning.

The expectation for stocks to sell off throughout the session, given that valuations have been stretched to unsustainable levels, will likely not materialize since prognosis is as much the stuff of smoke and mirrors as the algo-driven market itself.

At the Close, Thursday, January 4, 2018:
Dow: 25,075.13, +152.45 (+0.61%)
NASDAQ: 7,077.91, +12.38 (+0.18%)
S&P 500: 2,723.99, +10.93 (+0.40%)
NYSE Composite: 13,028.46, +71.18 (+0.55%)
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