Saturday, 11 March 2017

Econ-data coming in reasonable

US equity indexes ended the week on a moderately positive note, sp +7pts at 2372. The two leaders - Trans/R2K, settled higher by 0.9% and 0.4% respectively. VIX settled -5.2% at 11.66. Near term outlook offers choppy upside into next Wednesday's FOMC, when the fed are set to raise rates by 25bps to a target range of 0.75-1.00%.




US equities opened moderately higher on 'good jobs news is good news', but oil kinda spoilt the party a little, with indexes pinned lower into the late morning. There was another wave higher in the afternoon, but broadly, it wasn't of any significance.

VIX itself was red across the day, seeing a classic case of 'melting lower into the weekend'. A brief foray into the low teens seems viable next Wednesday - as the Fed will raise rates. The key 20 threshold looks out of range until at least late April... when the French will be voting.

The jobs data

Just a short note on today's monthly jobs data from the semi-mysterious organisation that is the BLS. With net Feb' gains of 235k, and a headline jobless rate of 4.7%, the data is still coming in 'reasonable', right? I'd agree, you could argue the U6 employment rate of 63.0% is still a dire level, and one that is indicative of huge underlying problems.

For the moment though... it can be justifiably argued that the data is coming in reasonable, and it has been a fascinating thing to see the market come to accept that it merits another rate hike.

Those calling for a recession within a quarter or two... are frankly... just plain.... wrong.

Something I noticed after the close...

So.. the attempt to have an ETF based on Bitcoin has been rejected by the SEC. Frankly... I'm glad. The very notion of an ETF for a crypto currency seems ludicrous, and is anathema to the core philosophy of Bitcoin itself. No doubt some will be very disappointed, and it will be interesting to see how BTC trades across the weekend.

Goodnight from London

*The weekend post will appear Sat 12pm, and will detail the US monthly indexes.