UPDATE: WTI breaks back over $110
After the initial knee-jerk reaction to the dismal jobs data, stocks began to fade and bonds continued to rally as traders realized the Taper is coming no matter what (sentiment, deficits, technicals, and international resentment) and growth is weaker than expected. However the big slamdown occurred this morning when Putin confirmed Russia will help Syria if there is an external strike (cough USA cough). As the chart below shows, this week has been all about "war" and continues to be so... Gold, Crude Oil, and Bonds remain well bid and the USD is sinking (as JPY carry unwinds en masse).
President Obama will take to the teleprompter (and hopefully Q&A) this morning amid the growing tensions on St. Petersburg. After confirming the Fed's taper yesterday, and following Putin's comments this morning on Syria, President Obama has his hands full but of course he still has the French with him... even if his own party are not?
Following a supposedly "warm" 20-30 minute conversation this morning with President Obama, Russian President Putin has rattled the sabre one more time:
PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA TO ASSIST SYRIA IN CASE OF EXTERNAL ATTACK
This will not end well... and of course will raise more doubts among Congress that this 'strike' makes sense. Equity markets are not amused...
While we already have the quantiative components of today's jobs number (horrendous), here is the qualitative breakdown. For the time constrained readers we will jump to the conclusion: absolutely abysmal, to a degree perhaps not seen in years. Of the 169K jobs added, the vast majority, some 144K or 85% of the entire August gain, consisted of the lowest paying jobs possible:
- +44K jobs added in Retail Trade
- +43K added in Education and Health
- +27K added in Leisure and Hospitality
- +17K added in Government (looks like sequester effect has finally "tapered")
- +13K added in Temp Help services
The awkward tension in St. Petersburg must be palatable as following Russia's release of the 100-page report yesterday showing that the chemical attacks were not the doing of the Assad regime, Putin has come out swinging this morning ahead of President Obama's press conference:
- PUTIN SAYS CHEMICAL ATTACK IN SYRIA WAS ‘PROVOCATION’ BY REBELS
On the bright side (if there is any), while Putin points out that he and Obama do not agree, they will listen to each other (we suspect only in order to prepare a response to any barbed rhetoric) Meanwhile, the navies continues to grow.
As frequent readers know, for the past three years we have compiled data looking at the US unemployment rate assuming a realistic labor force participation rate, which is the trendline average of the past three decades, or in the mid-65% area. Using such an approach allows us to estimate what the true unemployment (U3, not U6 underemployment) rate is. We can report that as a result of the latest monthly collapse in the labor force whose only purpose was to lower the unemployment rate from 7.4% to 7.3%, the actual implied unemployment rate just rose from 11.2% to 11.4%. This can be seen on the chart below. Also can be seen that the spread between the reported manipulated unemployment rate and the real rate accounting for a realistic labor force participation, just hit a record high 4.1%. In other words, unemployment data manipulation by the BLS was never been greater in the history of the US than in the past month.
Bond yields snapped lower, equity prices surged higher, gold and silver prices ripped higher, and the USD snapped dramatically lower (as JPY surged) on the worse-than-expected payrolls print (and terrible downward revision). The sad reflection of bad-news-is-good-news reaction of US capital markets to this 'most important number in the world' is summed up perfectly by CNBC's Rick Santelli as he exclaims how sad this reaction is and asks "what are we a banana republic?" Well, yes, Rick, it appears we are...
Record 90.5 Million Out Of Labor Force As Half A Million Drop Out In One Month; Labor Force Participation Rate Plunges To 1978 LevelsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/06/2013 - 08:47
While the Establishment survey data was ugly due to both the miss and the prior downward revisions in the NFP print, the real action was in the Household survey, where we find that the number of people not in the labor force rose by a whopping 516,000 in one month, which in turn increased the total number of people outside the labor force to a record 90.5 million Americans. And what is even worse, the Labor Force Participation Rate declined from 63.4% to 63.2%: the is the lowest print since August 1978!
August Jobs Rise 169K, Less Than Expected, Unemployment Rate 7.3%, Huge Downward Revision To July PrintSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/06/2013 - 08:35
A messy report out of the gate with the number of jobs added in August at 169K, or as predicted by ADP, worse than the 180K expected, however this was offset by the Unemployment Rate dropping from 7.4% to 7.3%, on expectations of an unchanged print. However what has shocked the market is the revision to the July jobs number from 162K to only 104K, resulting in a net drop of 74K jobs, and breaking the average 2013 jobs gain of 200K which previously was said by the Fed to be the key threshold level for tapering. The question now is: is this print bad enough to delay the taper?
BREAKING: U.S. orders diplomats to leave Lebanon as Congress debates Syria military strikes
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 6, 2013
Throughout this year, the consensus view has been that current economic weakness is justified and we are just one or two quarters away from faster growth. Now, in the third quarter Guggenheim's Scott Minerd exclaims we are hearing the same arguments, although growth targets are starting to dip. He calls this "hope", the growth mirage. Minerd adds, that, in the heat of the desert, the eye perceives water on the horizon, but the closer one tries to get, the farther away it moves – until the traveler realizes that he has been chasing an illusion caused by shimmering layers of hot and cool air.
The Soap Opera Plot Thickens: Iran Plots Revenge If US Hits Syria, According To "Intercepted" MessageSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/06/2013 - 07:55
We have not seen the YouTube clip that will serve as "incontrovertible" evidence of the following, nor is there any indication that Iran is actually aware of the NSA and that it intercepts every form of electronic communication (and when such communication is not available, one is made up), but since we have no reason to doubt the US government or its pristine, best intentions with or without YouTube clips, it is only obvious that the latest development in the Syrian/Iranian/Qatari/Saudi/Israeli soap opera is definitive proof that a US attack must happen to punish not only evil Assad but the just as evil Iranians, who dare to contemplate retaliation in the case of the latest defensive US war of aggression.