So once again all eyes are on jobs numbers which will be released at 7:30 a.m.(central)–and these are the ‘official’ jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor statistics (BLS). Forecasts are for 190,000 jobs being added–but apparently this includes around 40,000 folks going back to work after the auto strike–so 150,000 net new jobs. This would equal last month which was 150,000 (subject to revisions). The unemployment rate is forecast at 3.9%–flat from last month. Hourly wages are forecast at up 4% year over year–compared to 4.1% last month. Lots to look at in this report and we could be some items above forecast and some below forecast–but you can be certain than there is market moving potential here.
The 10 year treasury is trading at 4.18% this morning–jobs numbers have the potential to move this 10 basis points (up or down) and we can expect that after the release of the jobs number the yakking will be around when the Fed will cut rates. The equity market levels are built on the premise that rate cuts will come as early as March–with the S&P500 trading at 19 times forward earnings there is really little room for error. While I don’t buy much in the way of common stocks I never want to see markets hit hard to the downside–everyone is hurt, including income investors, when common shares are tumbling hard.
Yesterday I did make one purchase which I will write about separately today–sometimes a buy comes along which is unexpected. With my limited cash availability I bought a 1/2 position–more to come.
I continue to simply ‘roll-over’ our earnings in U-Haul Investors Club. Currently coupons on new issues are from 4.75% to 5%. These coupons are somewhat inferior to other available rates, but I continue to roll over repayments. I think it is time to get serious about making some transfers out to 1 of my brokerage accounts–when I can get an incremental 1-2% in investment grade baby bonds or preferreds (sock drawer issues) I have to start to make the move.
Ok–45 minutes now until the jobs numbers – let’s see if markets go crazy or handle whatever news we get calmly.