Trader Talk

US economic data: confusing, but focus is on jobs

Operator specialist Joel Klawiter sets a new mold in an injection molding machine at the Miller Felpax Corp. rail parts manufacturing facility in Winona, Minnesota.
Ariana Lindquist | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Stocks came off their lows at 10:00 a.m. ET as several pieces of economic data came out. Many are citing the strong October New Home Sales report, well above expectations, though September's was below consensus.

However, investors are almost certainly focusing on the bond market reaction, and the bond market is reacting to the poor November, which came in at 53.9, well below expectations of 55.0.

Remember, the services sector accounts for roughly 80 percent of private-sector jobs.

More importantly, the employment component of ISM dropped off from 56.5 to 52.5. That is a significant drop and the lowest since May.

On that news, bond yields dropped slightly, and stocks rallied, likely because it reduces the chances for a Fed tapering in December.

It certainly is contradictory: The earlier ADP report indicated strength in private jobs growth for November. Stock futures dropped, bond yields rose at that time (8:15 a.m. ET) on concerns tapering is more likely in December.

Bottom line: the market is focused on job creation as the most important indicator of when the Fed will begin tapering. Any headline that sheds light on this will move markets.

By CNBC's Bob Pisani