Santa Fe Las Campanas Market Report for Friday

Friday’s bond market has opened in negative territory due to stronger than expected results in today’s Employment report. The stock markets initially opened in positive territory as a result of the data, but have since fallen back into their selling ways. The Dow is now showing a loss of 102 points while the Nasdaq is down 41 points. The bond market is still in negative ground despite the about face in stocks, currently down 20/32. However, we will still see a significant improvement in this morning’s mortgage rates due to yesterday’s amazing rally that gained strength during afternoon hours.
Yesterday’s 512 point loss in the Dow and 136 points in the Nasdaq created a whole bunch of technical issues for stocks, such as the 10% “correction” from recent highs and erasure of year-to-date gains. But we will stay away from addressing them to avoid further complicating a confusing and unpredictable marketplace of the past two weeks. Just keep in mind one of the basic theories of mortgage rates” what is bad for stocks is usually good for bonds and mortgage pricing. Of course, this morning’s trading has to be one of those oddities. That was not the case yesterday though. as stocks spiraled lower, bonds rallied as investors moved funds into them as a safe-haven from the volatility in stocks. That led to a significant improvement in mortgage pricing on the day, one that should range somewhere between .125 – .250 of a percent in RATE (not discount points).
The Labor Department gave us this morning’s key data with the release of July’s Employment report. It revealed several surprises, including 117,000 new payrolls when only 84,000 were expected. The report also revised June’s payrolls higher by 28,000. We also saw an unemployment rate of 9.1% that was lower than the 9.2% that forecasts were calling for. These readings point towards a stronger than thought employment sector, especially considering all the negative economic news that was recently released. However, this data does not alleviate all those concerns or even imply that the labor market is strong. At best, we can consider it not bad, but not good.
One more portion of the report that is concerning is the average hourly earnings increase of 0.4% that was twice what analysts were expecting and a sizable jump from the no change we saw in June’s report. Another sizable increase next month will likely raise flags of wage inflation that can easily spread to other part of the economy once economic conditions improve. This is a reading that may draw more discussion in the coming months if it continues to rise at a decent pace.
Next week brings us the release of more important economic data in addition to two relevant treasury auctions and another FOMC meeting. Nothing of importance is scheduled for release Monday, but don’t take that to mean that it may be a calm day. Traders are reacting to this week’s events today and we may see more volatility Monday as they prepare for the Tuesday’s FOMC meeting and the rest of the week’s events.