Yes, there really is one in the "jobs report" today.
No, not the seasonally-adjusted trash. I give that as much credibility as I do a carnival barker on the midway.
No, I'm talking about the internals of the report, which is what I look at. And here, there is, for the first time, a hint of hope.
I am referring to this chart, specifically:
This is the first bit of turn in the annualized rate of change, which is what I use to null out the seasonal influences. But note that the monthly change has just gone to (nearly) zero. The key test for this series comes next month when we must print a positive number. If we do, there is a strong presumption that employment is actually on the upswing and this leg of the recession probably ended in November. (No Dennis, not September, not August and damn sure not June - November.)
But that "if" is important, and it correlates with this chart:
Same story here. The monthly change is decreasing (good) but note that we had that sort of blip before, and even went negative late last spring. Again, the annualized change must remain in the right direction next month (that is, the blue dotted line must go below zero) and the red line must continue to decline.
The reaction in the market was stunning with the futures tacking on more than a dozen handles almost instantly. But the dollar skyrocketed too as did the 10 year interest rate, which blasted off on afterburners, up to 3.47.
The key for equities will be what comes once people sift through this and we find out who got caught offsides (and how badly) in the various markets. If rates continue to back up then The Fed will be forced to contract liquidity and follow the market up and that is likely to have a dramatic impact on the dollar - and the carry therein may begin to unwind.
Gold is also getting pounded, down more than $30.
This is the sort of number that can produce dislocations in various markets, especially in the futures where leverage is large and the potential to get creamed very real.
Whether this winds up being of net benefit or whether it causes some blow-ups in very bad places is an unknown right now, but this much is certain - this sort of "tectonic shift" in the markets was unexpected by many, and the sharp and disorderly moves that have occurred thus far should make for an interesting Friday to say the least.
I will be watching very closely this channel in the dollar - a channel that, with the exception of a couple of spike overthrows that failed to hold through the close, has been pretty solid since June. If it breaks to the upside things are likely to get very interesting very fast as those short dollars and long commodities - the big "leverage play" of the last six months - will be taking enormous pain.