Nations do develop something like Alzheimers. Perhaps you haven’t noticed that for some time now nothing sticks in the national brain-pan - if that’s what we can call the news media and its analogs on the Web waves.
A new program just passed by New York’s state government promises “free tuition” for middle-class students to attend a public college or university in the state. While there are similar programs elsewhere in the US, this is the first to include four-year schools. All of the headlines include some variation of the term free college, which makes this a great opportunity to discuss what actually happens when a government provides something for “free.”
The U.S. residential construction industry employs 100's of thousands of people each year in various skilled trades that earn hourly pay rates ranging from minimum wage to $100 per hour, or more. Of course, just like the auto industry, many of those jobs can be done at a fraction of the cost and with much greater precision by industrial robots.
S&P futures are unchanged and Asian stocks closed mixed, however European stocks rebounded for first time this week, led by auto stocks after Daimler’s quarterly profit, as a break in alarming political news prompted traders to "swoop" - as Reuters puts it - on equities, cooling a safe-haven rally that saw the yen and gold at five-month highs and bond yields to drop their lowest this year.
Is there US labor market suddenly sick: not only did the rate of hiring not rise over the past year, but in February it declined by 3.6% relative to last year. This was the biggest decline in the annual rate of hiring in over four years, going back to March 2013.
Having seen through these statistics for what they really are, the treasury as well as eurodollar market reflects considerable and legitimate economic doubt drawn from realizing what money is (a whole lot more than bank reserves) and what it certainly wasn’t (QE). It is the optimists who share the burden of proof that this time is any different. The longer that evidence remains missing, the greater that burden.
While most job sectors performed in line with recent trends, there were three major outliers: growth in the Education and Health jobs category tumbled from +66K to +16K; Construction jobs dropped from +59K to +6K, while the big detractor was Retail Trade, where for the second month in a row, 30K jobs were lost.
As we cautioned previously in our payrolls preview, the big risk to today's payrolls report was to the downside, mostly as a result of the unseasonably cold March weather, and moments ago the BLS confirmed that indeed something snapped in March when only 98K jobs were added, roughly half of the 180K expected. This was the lowest monthly jobs number since May of 2016.
While Wall Street expects 180,00 jobs to be added in March, resulting in an unemployment rate of 4.7%, the "whisper" is for a downward surprise due to unseasonably cold March weather, including, winter storm Stella. Here is a full preview of what to expect tomorrow.
At the top, with annual price increases of 10% or more, we find the usual west coast (and thus closest to China) suspects: Seattle and Portland, followed close behind by Denver and Dallas, which appears to be enjoying the recent revival in shale.
"In the movie he was portrayed as the moral compass. After hearing his praise for the awesome job Paulson did by saving the criminal Wall Street banks with taxpayer money, I think the justice and righteousness stuff is overdone. Earlier in his talk he said banks existed to “fuck you” – his exact words. Then later he says we had to save them or the world would have ended."
A quiet start to today's quad-witching St. Patrick's day, with European stocks mixed, Asian shares and U.S. index futures (-0.1%) little changed ahead of industrial production data with just Tiffany's set to report earnings.
World stock indexes surged to record highs on Thursday while the dollar traded close to a one-month low after the Federal Reserve hiked U.S. interest rates but signaled no pick-up in the pace of tightening, while the Dutch elections were broadly interpreted as a drop in support for Europe's anti-establishment powers.
Much is at stake in today's Fed decision, where Janet Yellen is expected to raise interest rates by another quarter point, provide guidance on the pace of future rate hikes, and share its outlook on the economy and whether it is behind the inflationary curve. Here are the main things to look for in today's FOMC decision.