Back to top

Economic Highlights

March 07: Focus Squarely On Non-Farm Payroll Data

 ZacksTrade Now

This page is temporarily not available.  Please check later as it should be available shortly. If you have any questions, please email customer support at support@zacks.com or call 800-767-3771 ext.  9339.

The backdrop for today’s trading action is a bit mixed, but that may not be enough to prompt stocks to climb down from record levels as they wait for the key labor market reading tomorrow.

In terms of data, the weekly Jobless Claims numbers dropped further in the right direction, trade deficit expanded, and the first revision to fourth quarter productivity came in a tad weaker than expected. Beyond the U.S. shores, monetary policy actions from the European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England came in as expected, with both central banks leaving short-term interest rates unchanged.

But the big report on the economic front is Friday’s non-farm payroll report for February, for which today’s better than expected Jobless Claims number is not exactly relevant from a timing perspective. The survey for today’s claims was conducted two weeks after the government jobs survey, so the initial claims data does not help us in drawing conclusions about Friday’s jobs tally from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But Wednesday’s ADP report matched exactly the survey period for tomorrow’s BLS report and the ADP report is pointing towards positive momentum in the labor market.

Consensus expectations for Friday’s BLS report (+170K private sector and +160K in total jobs) have not moved up following the better than expected ADP report given concerns about the potential negative impact of the Northeast snowstorms on the data. But the odds are high that we will get a positive surprise tomorrow. The reason for my optimism is the trend in weekly Jobless Claims in recent weeks and also the employment components of the ISM surveys. With initial claims less than 350K, it is reasonable to expect monthly BLS jobs in the 200K vicinity. That's why barring any snowstorm distortions, I will be looking for a strong BLS report tomorrow.

In corporate news, Dell’s (DELL) effort to go private have taken an interesting turn, with Carl Icahn joining the fray by taking a position in the troubled PC maker. In earnings reports, we have weaker than expected results from PetSmart (PETM) and DryShips (DRYS), while data-equipment maker Ciena (CIEN) coming out ahead of expectations.

Consumer Credit figures are to be released today at 3:00 PM EST and are expected to increase by $16 billion after increasing by $14.6 billion in December.

 

 

Please login to Zacks.com or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research

Close

Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to Zacks.com?

Top Zacks Features

Learn more

Start for as little as $4.50 per trade.

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Zacks.com. Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
VERTEX ENERG VTNR 8.25 +10.59%
MODINE MANUF MOD 17.12 +8.77%
CLAYTON WILL CWEI 140.03 +7.27%
E*TRADE FINA ETFC 22.67 +5.44%
KNIGHTSBRIDG VLCCF 13.22 +5.42%