BY: MATTHEW GRAHAM MBS
The Employment Situation (the big jobs report out today) is the single most important piece of economic data on any given month–at least it normally is. On average, no other report has the same ability to cause volatility and momentum in the bond market. On so many past occasions, NFP (the “nonfarm payrolls” component of the report, and its most important feature) has single-handedly caused a shift in market psychology that dominates the rest of the month. In a few minutes, something similar to the following chart will be the result of today’s data:
So with such an important report and such a big move, surely we’re going to react in a big way, right? Actually, no–at least not because of the NFP number itself. Markets are already well aware of the huge toll on jobs taken by coronavirus. If there’s to be a big market reaction from NFP it will have to come from some other surprise inside the data, or simply the fact that many market participants use NFP as a scheduled meeting place for some of the most significant trading strategies of any given month. They do this regardless of the implications of the data itself. As far as today is concerned, however, they’d have to do it in a pretty big way to create material change.