A Quick Look at Today’s Non-Farm Payrolls Data

The market seemed to wobble this morning in anticipation of the PMI data.  Upon the headline number surprising to the upside, the market rallied sharply, only to drift downwards and close at the lows of the day.  Many pundits were pointing to tomorrow Payroll data as a make or break moment.

Funny I said jokingly to someone last week to go long after Bernanke speaks and precisely short after Obama talks next week. We will see if this data point changes that and accelerates the decline.  There were a number of stories today of Goldman and others lowering their estimate for NFP.  Those calls might be political gesturing as much as fundamental analysis.  We are going into a long weekend, and there are a lot of unknowns out there.  As of this evening Wikileaks is back in the news for having released the entire trove, unedited and un-redacted.  Meanwhile a potentially massive attack on the banks for mortgage fraud by the Federal Government is also going to be in the Zeitgeist tomorrow.  All more reasons why people may choose to de risk into the weekend.  And with the VIX starting above 30 at the open, its anyone’s guess which way the market will move, but it certainly has potential to be large in either direction.

Below are the current employment estimates for NFP.  The gloomiest predictions were sorted to the top of the list.

Bloomberg: Non-Farm Payrolls Estimates

Oh, and in case you forgot, the headline unemployment rate currently just above 9% is mostly politics and media white washing. The real percentage of unemployed Americans is plotted below and is north of 16%.  Hard to imagine it could get worse, but it surely hasn’t really gotten any better.  Per my last blog post, doing more of the same seems like insanity at this point.

Bloomberg: U6 The Real Unemployment Rate

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