Tomorrow, the big monthly jobs report will be released. Based on economic news this week, it's uncertain what that report will say. This week, with the lead up to the report, there were some positive indicators that the economy is not slowing down, however, there were other indicators - unemployment, slower-than-expected growth in the service sector, and worse-than-expected retail sales - that suggest it might be stalling.
The uncertainty has led to an up and down stock market this week - with the DOW peaking at its highest levels since '07, but also staying most days in the red. The sell off today, in anticipation of the jobs report, suggests Wall Street is expecting a pretty negative jobs report.
The ADP released their jobs report, which showed an underwhelming 119,000 jobs gained, which would be dramatically less than the 201,000 revised total from the ADP in March. Their report indicates a very stagnant market, though, it's important to point out that the government numbers are separate of the ADP's and will be released tomorrow.
So, it's entirely possible, as some have speculated
, they're off. That's happened before. Economists believe we added 168,000 jobs in April, which would be a solid improvement on last month and alleviate fears that the market is slowing.
That's the magic number. The expectation is 168,000 and unemployment staying at 8.2. If we get that tomorrow, that's pretty good - not great, but good. Anything worse, and, I guess, it depends on how worse. If we can stay above 150,000, though, I think the narrative won't be entirely negative.
Anything higher, and the closer the number gets to 200,000, the better. Of course, last month, the expectation was that we would gain 200,000 new jobs in March and they woefully overestimated those gains.
Hopefully they didn't again this month and instead underestimated.