It's all about the jobs report today. World stock markets trend flat to lower ahead of the report and U.S. stocks are mixed ahead of the opening. The dollar remains in a tight range and oil traded higher over night on expectations OPEC may limit production again when it meets next week.
Economists expect to see that employers added 110,000 new jobs and that the unemployment rate moved up to 4.5 percent from October's 4.4 percent, a five year low. Investors have been heavily focused on the jobs report, hoping to get a clear message on the economy's strength after a batch of mixed signals from recent economic data. Our Rick Santelli said the bond market will also take its cue from the U.S. Labor Department report. "Anything strong will push rates solidly back over 4.5 percent (on the 10 year)," he says.
As we mentioned in an earlier post--U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is a guest. Maria Bartiromo interviews him this morning ahead of his trip to China next week. Incoming Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd said yesterday he wants Paulson to return from Beijing with some progress on a revaluation of the Chinese currency. Traders will be watching Paulson closely for any U.S. dollar related comments.
Wanxiang, China's largest car parts maker, is in talks with Ford to buy assets from its components. The chairman of Wanxiang was quoted in the Financial Times and said he has also had talks with Delphi this year but those talks ended. Deal talk this morning also surrounds Barclays, and Merrill Lynch analysts say the buyer could be Bank of America .
In other company news--Prudential cut 3M to neutral from overweight.