Bond Market: Some Doubt Job Number Reliability
A blowout jobs numbergave stocks an initial liftbut already some bond market skeptics are doubting the reliability of the data. For now, stock traders are looking at good news as good. October jobs were reported at 166,000. double expectations of 80,000. The jobless rate came in at an expected 4.7 percent.
Jobs data is revised sometimes to the point where it tells the opposite story. Remember August's negative number turned positive once revisions were made in September.
Coupled with surprisingly strong third quarter GDP reported Wednesday, the data should give traders a good feel about the economy and remove some of the angst about the possibility of a recession in the coming year. Also fading, though are hopes for a Fed rate cut in December.
That third quarter GDP growth rate of 3.9 percent showed another important trend--that the weak U.S. dollar is allowing the global economy to keep the U.S. economy steaming ahead. Remember exports rose more than 16%.
Other points to watch today:
Chevron profits are down 26% because of weak refining and marketing conditions. Like Exxon , margins were squeezed. Chevron earned $3.7 billion. Its per share of $1.94 per share was way below the forecast $2.07 per share.
Credit fear persists. A Wall Street Journal story says Merrill Lynch engaged in deals with hedge funds to push risky debt off its own books. The newspaper says the SEC may look at this issue.
Oil is rising. Reuters reports that OPEC raised oil production last month in response to $90 per barrel prices. OPEC pumped 26.98 million barrels per day, up 180,000 barrels per day from September.
Hollywood writers are set to hang up their keyboards today as a strike deadline looms.
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