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Will Jobs Give Market The 'All-Clear', Friday

With the market getting positive data on employment earlier in the week, will the trend continue with the jobs numbers out Friday morning?

Investors are cautiously optimistic after new data out Thursday showed initial jobless claims fell last week to 368,000 -- a 2-1/2 year low.

Optimism is also being fueled by the latest Reuters estimates, which suggest employment has increased by 185,000. Take a look:

NONFARM PAYROLLS PRIVATE PAYROLLS
Median+185,000+190,000
Minimum+100,000+82,000
Maximum +275,000 +275,000

Source: Reuters

As in previous months, the private sector is expected to account for all the anticipated job gains in February. Private payrolls likely jumped 190,000 after growing 50,000 in January, spurred largely by the services sector.

However, the situation isn’t all peaches and cream. The unemployment rate is seen ticking up to 9.1 percent. High unemployment remains a big hurdle for economic recovery, with companies still reluctant to hire and cash-strapped states and local governments cutting jobs.

Market Impact

According to Reuters, the market would likely consider a strong employment report as fresh confirmation of a strengthening recovery; in turn it could trigger a government bond sell-off and push yields up.

It would also be a boost for the dollar and stocks, which have suffered on concerns that the high oil prices could hobble the recovery.

Of course a weaker than expected number combined with sky-high oil would likely call the recovery into question and trigger selling.

Get more on the jobs number from Ellen Zentner, Bank of Mitsubishi-UFJ Senior U.S. Macro Economist. Watch the vide now!





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