The job opening and labor turnover report (JOLTS) is scheduled to be released at 9 a.m. (central) and this is a relatively important report–at least to the extent that the report gives us any insight into future employment. Like all government reports sometimes it is questionable whether it is helpful – but it is what we have to work with and regardless of personal opinions markets move on these types of stats.
I looked over the JOLTS report from last month (for February) and 1 interesting statistic is of the level of ‘separations’ –divided into 2 broad categories – quits and layoffs. Last month quits were up while layoffs decreased. It would seem to me that in a weakening economy that quits would be reducing while layoffs would be increasing so I will be looking at that for a hint at economic direction.
Of course the report contains the ‘job openings’ section and this number has been consistently falling—from 11.6 million back in 2/2022 to 9.9 million openings in February. I have read that anecdotally this number is way over stated – by a magnitude of 2X – that companies advertise jobs whether they actually have openings or not. So once again while I question the data it is data that folks looks and react to so one has to consider it. The forecast today is for 9.6 million job openings in March.
So we have equity markets off a little today and interest rates are flat from yesterday, but yesterday’s close of 3.57% on the 10 year treasury was up 12 basis points from last weeks close of 3.45%. It would not surprise me that markets trade relatively flat today as we await the Fed Funds rate hike tomorrow afternoon–but more importantly the Powell presser after the rate hike.
Today I will probably do nothing. My good til canceled orders are way out of the money – none of them are likely to execute, but I will leave them in place. I am on hold relative to any banking preferred purchases – yesterday proved that this story has plenty of time to run yet and no use trying to catch a falling knife.