Ouch! Jobs, Face-Phone, MMMBop, Bang with Friends: Talking Squawk
Talking Squawk: Blogging tidbits, insight and some sarcasm on the WEEK THAT WAS and the WEEK TO COME from the notepad of the senior executive producer of "Squawk Box."
It was the word everybody heard, thought or felt at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday morning.
Only 88,000 new non-farm jobs were created in March.
Not 200,000. Not 150,000. Not even 100,000. Not good.
The sequester, payroll tax hike, budget impasse, health care reform, seasonal spring swoon, retail pullback, President Barack Obama, Congress (The Walking Dead) …
Blame it on whatever you want.
If you are an investor, the word that says it best is … "Ouch!" (Actually, "This sucks" and a host of other phrases also work, but I don't think I'm allowed to write them here—this is a family blog.)
It was a 180-degree mood swing in the newsroom from how we started the week Monday morning, which was the beginning of Q2. The S&P 500 had closed out the first three months of the year by beating its record closing high set in October 2007.
(Read More: We Ask the Pros: Too Late to Buy Record-High Stocks?)
It was also Opening Day for baseball this week. (Wow, the Yankees look great again this year … crickets!)
We all felt good and even found a way to work in '90s teen idols Hanson (website) and their timeless 1997 hit "MMMBop" into the program. (I could play you the clip, but the music lawyers here at CNBC would have me fired, and then would sue me just for sport.) Here's the chorus:
"Mmm bop, ba duba dop / Ba du bop, ba duba dop / Ba du bop, ba duba dop / Ba du / Mmm bop, ba duba dop / Ba du bop, Ba du dop / Ba du bop, Ba du dop..." — Hanson, MMMBop, 1997
You can let your mind run wild about the hidden market messages these teen prophets were trying to tell us. But "up, up and away" was still our theme, and we literally were singing in the commercial breaks.
I should also point out for all you market doomsayers out there, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 11 percent in the first quarter. The blue chip index has never finished in negative territory for the year when it was up at least 8 percent in Q1. (Can you give me an "Mmm Bop!")
Of course, now post-Friday's jobs report, I realize that I sound like my flood insurance salesman pushing a new insurance policy based on top historic flooding levels three weeks before Superstorm Sandy. (True story, it happened to me!) Let's just say, now there is a new "historic" flood level. And it's one my insurance doesn't cover. And the flood after the jobs number probably made a lot of investors feel like me standing in my moldy storm ravaged garage saying, "Now what?"
But I'm not bitter, and "swoon or no swoon," at least Friday woke everybody up to a little sense of reality. It allowed us to stop singing "Mmm Bop" for a minute and actually think about more serious subjects like, the economy, the Fed, the Bank of Japan, the ECB, corporate profits, Apple, Facebook, gold, oil. ...
Don't worry, we'll quickly get bored of all this serious talk and any day now find a new teeny bopper boy band song to sing along to!
Guest Moments Worth Another Look
Monday, 8:40 a.m. ET: Larry Lucchino, CEO of the Boston Red Sox on steroid rules, the DH, the state of the "Moneyball" system, and how the Red Sox and the Yankees are both the underdogs this year! (story)
Tuesday, 7:15 a.m. ET: David Stockman on the coming financial crisis due to "The Great Deformation" (video); 7:45 a.m. ET, Nasdaq OMX CEO Bob Greifeld on buying the eSpeed trading platform for U.S. Treasurys. (story)
Tweets of Note
@MrT riddle me his: Should Fools get paid overtime for working on April Fools' day?
(What purpose would Twitter serve if we all didn't follow Mr. T?)
@nbcnightlynews: Jane Henson, co-creator of the Muppets, dies at 78 http://nbcnews.to/ZyUy3e
(I grew up on the Muppet show. Pigs In Space and The Swedish Chef! RIP Jane Henson.)
@TonyFratto: There's a Stephen King novel here.
RT @CNBCEuropeBreak: Damaged Carnival Ship Triumph Breaks Away From Dock http://cnb.cx/10cZej5
(I will never go on a cruise, ever! Unless it's one of those aging 80s heavy-metal rocker ones; then count me in!)
Mark Your Calendar (or Set Your DVR)
Monday: Fabrice Bregier, Airbus CEO
Tuesday: Sir Richard Branson and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard
Wednesday: United Continental CFO John Rainey; guest host Kenneth Tropin, chairman of Graham Capital Management
Thursday: House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and BlackRock CIO Russ Koesterich
Friday: Guest host Daniel Arbess, partner at Perella Weinberg
Joe at 6:01 a.m. ET on a Tuesday morning … "Andrew, at this point, hair anywhere is good."
However, that was not nearly as awkward as Joe, Becky and Andrew live on air trying to talk through whether the story about Facebook eyeing the app "Bang with Friends" was real or a late April Fools' hoax. (video)