- In Trade Chatter
- Last Updated: 04 January 2013
- By LA Little
The employment numbers has always been a big deal. It is fresh data (comes out very soon relative to what it is measuring) and a measure of the workforce and their incomes. With a huge part of the GDP based on consumer and business consumption, if folks aren't working or are working in every larger numbers, that's an important thing to know. Does their average hours worked increase; the wages paid; etc. All of that is in the employment report comes out the first Monday following the end of the month. With the Fed now targeting the unemployment number explicitly it has taken on even greater significance. The knee-jerk to the number can be huge and that is what happened again this morning with a spike down followed by a quick bounce back the other way occurring once it was reported. So it is, once a month, like a clockwork.
How the market reacts almost always is tied to how it is positioned in front of major numbers. It's not like nobody sees a report coming. They always do. Where the reactions are exaggerated is when they don't see "the number that is reported" coming and have positioned incorrectly. That's when the money scrambles to the other side of the table. So trading news is very hard because not only do you have to get the news right - you have to get the read on how money is positioned and will react correctly as well.
Its far easier to let it happen and then take your read off of that. Sure you will be a little behind but being a little behind the curve but right is a lot better than in front of the curve and wrong.
Right now this market is extremely bullish given the back-to-back wide price spread bars up this week on Monday and Wednesday. That usually is not something that the buyers walk away from easily. Mutual funds and money managers are saddled with the need to perform against the S&P benchmark so if it begins to move without them, they have to buy it at higher and higher prices lest they lose their jobs. For better or for worse, that is what you see going on right now.