Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

Economic News March 1: Should The February Employment Report Have You Yawning?

Friday morning at 8:30am, the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the February employment report. Already, the numbers are looking up thanks to warmer than expected winter weather.

Specifically, CNBC has quoted Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, as saying that 10% to 20% of the job gains that we have been seeing through the winter were weather related. For the February jobs report, she expects to see more job gains in construction along with retail thanks to spring apparel sales but gains in manufacturing could start to slow. Moreover, Swonk added that the unexpectedly warm winter weather could mean more give back in the coming months as we approach summer - when higher fuel prices might start to crimp hiring.

On the other hand, other economists have noted how the energy sector and specifically the booming shale gas sector have already created hundreds of thousands of jobs - both directly and indirectly. In fact, the level of employment in Texas, Alaska and North Dakota is now above its prerecession peak in large part due to the growing energy industry.

Nevertheless, the Januay employment report showed that the economy added 243,000 net jobs in January with the unemployment rate falling to 8.3% - its lowest level in three years. The report also sent the Dow Jones industrial average to its highest close since May 2008.

So what are the chances of at least a good February Jobs report or one that won't disappoint on Friday? Fairly good when you consider the fact that payroll processor ADP has already released a report that said employers added 216,000 jobs in January and this pushed treasury prices lower on Wednesday.

Likewise, the market closed up on Thursday with housing and homebuilder stocks being among the best performers as warmer weather has meant more building in an other wise quiet time of the year.

On the other hand and before you read too much into any employment data, Bloomberg View columnist Caroline Baum has written an interesting article for her column entitled "Beware Analysts Torturing Jobs Data to Fit Model." Her point was that the real fun tomorrow will begin after the numbers are released when analysts and political pundits begin spinning them to reflect their own political or personal biases about the direction the US economy is heading in during a very important election year. She also ended her article by noting that it will take just 152,775 new jobs a month for the (official) unemployment rate to move below 8% by the elections - which are still several months away.

Either way, active traders might what to check their Next Candle stock forecasts for the stocks they own or trade before the market opens in case there are any surprises with the Friday morning February employment report but they should otherwise contain their overexcitement.


Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.