This morning’s employment data came out at 200,000 versus an expected 175,000 and a previous reading of 148,000. We also saw a small revision of the December reading from 148,000 up to 160,000. The unemployment rate, which was expected to remain steady at 4.1%, came in right in line. The data follows one of the more significant selloffs we’ve seen in quite some time. For the week, the E-mini S&P is off almost 3% from the all-time highs on 1/29.
In the wake of the data, stocks have not moved a whole lot. The dollar is rallying, and market participants are growing increasingly worried that better data will clear the way for rate hikes. The Fed still anticipates at least three hikes this year, but they’re not ruling out the possibility of four. That said, two days removed from the most recent FOMC meeting, we’re still waiting to see the first one of the year. While there is little reason to believe it isn’t coming fairly soon, some are wondering how aggressively they’ll want to raise without being able to see how each hike affects the overall economy over a period of time.
E-mini S&P 500 Mar ’18 Daily Chart