It seems nothing is more widely anticipated this week than the jobs number due Friday. That’s largely because the unemployment rate is seen as one of the main factors that will determine the timing of the Federal Reserve's first interest rate increase.
What should you expect?
According to a Reuters, the median forecast for nonfarm payrolls is for a decline of 8,000 however forecasts range from -80,000 to +59,000.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is seen rising to 10.1 percent from 10 percent in November.
But those are averages; where people fall on the jobs number is wide ranging. Take a look:
58 Peopled Surveyed
Predictions for the Friday jobs report
Considering expectations are essentially 'all over the map' whatever data is released on Friday, it's likely to move the market.
How will the market likely react?
That's where the averages come into play.
Going into Friday's number, the S&P as well as the other major indexes are trading in well-defined upward trend. According to Reuters, a report that is in line with or better than market expectations should add to the rally.
But any downside surprises including a significant downward revisions to November's data could give investors pause.
Meanwhile, the report will be crucial in determining how sustainable advances in the dollar are.
The dollar's climb has been driven by interest rate expectations. An acceleration in the pace of job losses could fuel skepticism about the recovery and erase some of the dollar's recent gains.