Morning Report: Mediocre jobs report 9/1/17

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2475.8 5.8
Eurostoxx Index 375.9 2.0
Oil (WTI) 47.0 -0.3
US dollar index 85.3 -0.4
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.11%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103.33
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 104.21
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 3.86

Stocks are higher despite a mediocre jobs report. Bonds and MBS are up.

Jobs report data dump:

  • Payrolls up 156,000
  • Unemployment rate 4.4%
  • Hourly earnings up 0.1% MOM / 2.5% YOY
  • Labor force participation rate 62.9%
  • 2 month payroll revision down 41,000

Another month where the ADP number was way off of what BLS reported. For the markets, it is a Goldilocks report which is strong enough to keep the recovery going and weak enough to keep the Fed from tightening too aggressively. Construction, professional business services, and manufacturing were the biggest contributors to job growth. Manufacturing job growth was the highest in 5 years, which is encouraging.  2.5% annual wage growth is nothing to write home about, however with inflation around 1.5% or so, it is probably the best we can hope for at the moment. The Fed funds futures moved a touch more towards the Fed standing pat in December and September.

The strong manufacturing job growth was echoed in the latest ISM Manufacturing Survey, which improved in July. New Orders and Production drove the big increase, although employment was close behind. The reading of 58.8 is usually associated with 4.9% GDP growth. Given that strength, wage growth should be accelerating.

Construction spending fell in July by 0.6% and is up only 1.8% YOY. Residential construction improved however, which we need to see to alleviate the tight inventory issue.

Gasoline prices are up 25% in some places after Harvey affected about 10% of the US’s refining capacity. Higher gas prices have invariably tilted towards lower growth and a drop in the consumer confidence indices. Expect to see some hand-wringing over the mindset of the consumer going forward.

Bond strategists are flummoxed to explain the bond market’s rally over the past few months. At the beginning of the year, most were thinking the 10 year would yield closer to 3%, however yields have dropped by about 40 basis points instead. With GDP growth around 3%, you should expect to see investors dump Treasuries, but it hasn’t happened. IMO the Trump reflation trade was always a bit of a stretch, and pre-election yields were closer to reality than post-election yields. Still, there are a lot of bears that are having a tough year right now.

Almost half of all homes in the US have regained their bubble peaks, according to Zillow. The leading MSAs are Denver and Dallas, while the ones who still lag the most include Las Vegas and Riverside.

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