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WH Advisor: Blizzards Likely To ‘Distort’ Jobs Number

Monday, 1 Mar 2010 | 5:43 PM ET

If you’re betting on a better than expected jobs report Friday, you might want to take some chips off the table.

As we first told you last week, the Street is getting nervous about Friday's monthly jobs report.

And in an exclusive interview, White House economic advisor Larry Summers suggested those nerves are well justified.

Summers said the blizzards that blanketed much of the Northeast last week will likely distort the monthly number.

Summers Speaks
Fast Money trader Karen Finerman talks to economic advisor Larry Summers about last Friday's jobs numbers.

”In past blizzards, those statistics have been distorted by 100,000 to 200,000 jobs,” he said in an exclusive one-one-one interview with Fast Money's Karen Finerman.

After the interview Finerman added "I don't know how much a blizzard really should factor into the jobs number but (Summers) is definitely trying to lower expectations."

"For the short-term I didn't get a warm and fuzzy," she added.

That doesn’t bode well considering the weekly jobless claims numbers have edged up slightly breaking a downtrend.

That’s hardly a bullish scenario for stock market investors. Or is it?

Fast Money trader Guy Adami reminded that a weak jobs number could drag down the dollar. In turn that could generate a commodities rally and take stocks higher.

And Finerman also said, "don't read too much into the jobs number." Summers also told us, “underlying trends are going to show job growth soon.”

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Of course we didn't just talk about jobs. Larry Summers offered many insights. A summary follows.

On The Crisis In Europe:--Summers says he is "very concerned" about the economic situations in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and other European nations, but that there are "increasing signs" that Europe is recognizing the scope of the problem and taking the necessary steps to stabilize it.

On Lack Of Former CEOs In Cabinet Or Senior Positions: --Summers defends this by arguing that the Obama Administration has spent a great deal of time "cooperating with business on issues" -- through innumerable speeches, meetings, and meals with business leaders. He says the Administration recognizes that businesses "are citizens of the United States" and therefore have both privileges and responsibilities

On Secretary Geithner:--Summers fiercely defends Secretary Geithner's experience and performance, arguing that he is likely "the most experienced crisis fighter in the world" and that the media must do more to comprehend "the nature of the choices" that such financial regulators and officials confront in a crisis.

On The State Of The U.S. Economy & Its Growth Prospects:--Summers says that the economy has made "remarkable progress" due to "strong actions" on the part of the Administration, but that our economic problems cannot and will not be solved "in a day or a week or a year." He stresses that jobs are "priority Number One for the President."

On Proprietary Trading:--Summers clearly states the Administration's definition of proprietary trading, emphasizing that it involves "no nexus with a customer

On His Worst Personal Economic Decision:--Summers says that from the point of view of his family's finances, he is not sure that "going into government constituted a terrific economic decision."

On His Message To Wall Street:--Summers stresses that "moments of crisis are moments of opportunity," and that everyone -- including Wall Street -- must recognize the "obligations we have to respond" to major challenges.

To see the entire transcript of our interview with Larry Summers click here.


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Trader disclosure: On March 1st, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Kaminsky Owns (EPV); Kaminsky Owns (LULU) Puts; Najarian Owns (BAC) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (INTC) Calls; Najarian Owns (JDSU) Calls; Najarian Owns (MRVL); Najarian Owns (NTAP) Calls; Najarian Owns (AKAM); Najarian Owns (MRVL); Najarian Owns (NTAP) Calls; Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (F), (INTC), (NIHD); Kelly Owns (FXY) Puts; Finerman's Firm Owns (MIL); Finerman's Firm Owns (OSIP); Finerman's Firm Owns (XBI); Finerman's Firm Owns (IBB); Finerman's Firm Owns (ARG) Calls; Finerman's Firm Owns (GGWPQ); Finerman's Firm Owns (SII) Call Spreads; Finerman's Firm Owns (ACL); Finerman Owns (AAPL); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (GOOG); Finerman's Firm Owns (QCOM); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC), (BAC) Leaps; Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred, (BAC); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (JPM); Finerman's Firm Owns (IBM); Finerman's Firm Owns (MIL); Finerman's Firm Owns (OSIP); Finerman's Firm Owns (XBI); Finerman's Firm Owns (IBB); Finerman's Firm Owns (ARG) Calls; Finerman's Firm Owns (GGWPQ); Finerman's Firm Owns (SII) Call Spreads; Finerman's Firm Owns (ACL);
Terranova Owns (GLD) March Puts; Karabell Owns (RIMM), (UYG), (AAPL), (NOK), (XES), (VALE), (TC); Jon Najarian Owns (AAPL), Is Short (AAPL) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (BAC), Is Short (BAC) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (C), Is Short (C) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (GS), Is Short (GS) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (MIL), Is Short (MIL) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (MS), Is Short (MS) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (QCOM), Is Short (QCOM) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (RIMM), Is Short (RIMM) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (WFC), Is Short (WFC) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (WMT), Is Short (WMT) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (TSL) Call Spreads; Jon Najarian Owns (SII) Call Spreads; Jon Najarian Owns (CRM) Call Spreads; Jon Najarian Owns (MU) Call Spreads; Nations Owns (MSFT), (SPY)

For Tim Seymour:
Seygem Asset Management Is Short (FCX)
Seygem Asset Management Owns (VIP)
Seygem Asset Management Owns (VIP)

For Brian Kelly:
Kanundrum Capital Owns (C)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (JPM)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (CS)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (DB)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (NBG)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (EWP)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (EWJ)
Kanundrum Capital Is Short Yen
Kanundrum Capital Is Short British Pound
Kanundrum Capital Is Short Euro
Kanundrum Capital Is Short (GS)

For Joe Terranova:
Terranova Works For (VRTS)
Terranova Is Chief Market Strategist Of Virtus Investment Partners, Ltd.


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