US Jobs May Hit 54,000 or Even Lower: Charts

Even though market expectations put the number of jobs created by U.S. employers at 150,000 for May — a sharp increase from April's figure — a technical analyst told that nonfarm payrolls are in fact on their way down.

Comstock | Getty Images

The Labor Department will release jobs figures for May at 8:30 a.m. New York time on Friday; analysts have said that 125,000 jobs must be created per month just to keep the unemployment rate steady.

When looking at an economic indicator from a technical analysis perspective, the factors to look at are key levels, changes in momentum, cycles and correlation, according to Ron William, a technical analyst at MIG Bank.

"Nonfarm payroll has been decelerating since the beginning of 2012," William told "The probability of an acceleration of that down move is high over the next two quarters."

The data lost positive momentum after failing to hold above the 2011 high of 251,000, and has also remained beneath a multiyear ceiling of around 340,000. During January 2012 "the loss of upside momentum triggered a DeMark exhaustion signal," he said.

An exhaustion signal usually indicates a reversal in the trend. The DeMark Indicators are a collection of sophisticated market-timing tools created by Tom DeMark over the course of nearly 40 years in the financial industry.

"The key level that everyone in the market should be focusing on [for nonfarm payrolls] is 54,000," William added. "I think that over the multimonth period the probability favors that we test this area and maybe move into negative territory if it is confirmed."

Paradoxically, a weaker jobs number will boost the U.S. dollar as it would raise worries about economic growth and renew the flight to safety, he said.

The dollar index gained around 5 percent in three weeks, led by a selloff in risky assets and by the seasonal "sell in May and go away" trend, according to William.

The dollar index's August 2010 peak of 83.55 is a level to watch, "because it can go much higher than that" once it reaches it, he said.

The selloff in the S&P 500 index since March was triggered by a head-and-shoulders pattern right before, and the key levels to watch now for the index are 1282 and 1248, according to William, who said that if the index hits these levels it will likely go lower.