1) ECONOMIC EVENTS:
EMPLOYMENT SITUATION REPORT
“It was not outstanding but it beat the consensus and showed a little more strength-payroll jobs. Total nonfarm payroll jobs gained 175,000 in February after a 129,000 rise in January and an 84,000 increase in December. The net revision for the prior two months was up 25,000. Expectations for February were for 150,000. The BLS did note that atypically severe winter weather occurred during the payroll reference period. While not specifically stating, the implication is that the labor market is somewhat stronger than the official payroll number for February.
The unemployment rate nudged up to 6.7 percent in February from 6.6 percent the month before. The consensus called for 6.6 percent.
Turning back to the payroll portion of the report, goods-producing jobs rose 22,000 in February after a boost of 61,000 in January. Construction improved by 15,000, following a 50,000 increase the month before. Manufacturing jobs gained 6,000-the same as in January.
Private service-providing jobs jumped 140,000, following an 84,000 rise in January. In February, job gains occurred in professional and business services and in wholesale trade, while information lost jobs. Employment in professional and business services increased by 79,000 in February. Accounting and bookkeeping services added 16,000 jobs. Employment continued to trend up in temporary help services (+24,000) and in services to buildings and dwellings (+11,000).
Government jobs rebounded 13,000 after declining 16,000 in January.
Average weekly hours slipped to 34.2 from 34.3 in January. A big plus in today’s report was a jump in average hourly earnings growth to 0.4 percent in February from 0.2 percent the prior month.
Average weekly hours slipped to 34.2 from 34.3 in January. A big plus was a jump in average hourly earnings growth to 0.4 percent in February from 0.2 percent the prior month.
The latest jobs report almost certainly is strong enough to keep the Fed’s taper strategy on track-a $10 billion slowing after each FOMC meeting this year into late this year.”
INTERNATIONAL TRADE REPORT
“The nation’s trade gap came in very near expectations, at $39.1 billion in January vs a slightly revised $39.0 billion in December. Exports rose a respectable $1.2 billion, offset by a slightly higher rise in imports of $1.3 billion. Industrial supplies drove the increases on both sides of the ledger. The petroleum deficit widened to $19.3 billion from $15.5 billion while the non-petroleum goods gap narrowed to $39.2 billion from $41.9 billion. The services surplus rose to $20.2 billion from $19.7 billion.”
2) BREAKING NEWS: NONE
3) FUTURE EVENTS: FOMC ANNOUNCEMENT 3/18-19, OPEX 3/21
VIRDIGO STATEMENT: The SPX is hitting long term resistance in the form of the downward sloping trend line. Expectation is that it’ll consolidate and break to the upside towards 1900.
SPX: Look for a possible spike low / reversal next week to gain the momentum needed to break through resistance in the coming sessions.
VOLATILITY: The VIX:VXV ratio is flat lining in neutral territory setting a bullish tone for the market.
LEADING INDEXES: For the week, the leading indexes still show bullish strength. The biggest discrepancy is the weakness in BIOTECH which has been parabolic.
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