Posts Tagged ‘Non-Farm Payrolls’

Non-Farm Friday – Will Jobs Report Restore Market Confidence?

Ouch, that really stings!  

They say you can't keep a good market down but it remains to be seen whether or not we have a good market with almost all of August and September's BS gains (see any of my posts for warnings and hedge ideaserased just 3 days into October.  

As you can see from our Big Chart, the Russell, in particular, completed it's 10% drop yesterday and, as I said to our Members in yesterday's live Chat Room as we neared the bottom:

/TF/Jasu – Just a bit oversold and, as noted yesterday (and above) it's completing a 10% drop from 1,200 at 1,080, so that's a very firm line for a bounce and that's 20% of a 120-point drop, so we're looking for 25-point bounces to 1,105 (weak) and 1,130 (strong) now.  Anything less than 1,105 today is a failure and, if not tomorrow, then expect more downside next week.  

SPY DAILY/TF is the Futures on the Russell 2000 index and already this morning we're back to 1,097, which is up $1,700 per contract (see how easy this is?) from our 1,080 entry and just a little shy of our expected weak bounce.  

We do expect resistance at 1,100 so this is a good time to take profits off the table and we can go long again over that line or flip to the S&P Futures (/ES) over 1,950 or Nasdaq (/NQ) over 4,000 or the Dow (/YM) over 16,800.  As long as they are all performing, we can be confident on the long side. 

As we discussed with our Members earlier this morning, there's no particular reason to get bullish – this is just a technical bounce we expect off our 5% lines per our 5% Rule™ and, if they trun out to be weak bounces, then we can expect another 2.5-5% of downside next week.  That means we can use those same index lines to go short if they fail as we would to go long if they succeed this morning – that will be all up
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Non-Farm Payrolls: US Economy Doing a Great Imitation of a Developing Double Dip

Non-Farm Payrolls: US Economy Doing a Great Imitation of a Developing Double Dip


The September Non-Farm Payrolls report was not good news.

This is a remarkably unnatural US economic recovery, with gold, silver, and other key commodities soaring in price, the near end of the Treasury curve hitting record low interest rates, and stocks steadily rallying as employment slumps and the median wage continues to decline.

The US is a Potemkin Village economy with the appearance of prosperity hiding the rot of fraud, oligarchy, and political corruption. 

As monetary power and wealth is increasingly concentrated in fewer hands, the robust organic nature of the economy and the middle class continues to deteriorate. 

This is what is happening, and monetary policy cannot affect it.   The change must come from the source, which is in political and financial reform.   And the powerful status quo is dead set against it.

The long term trend of employment has not yet turned lower which would make the second dip ‘official’ from our point of view. But the prognosis does not look good.

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Non Farm Payrolls: The Devil Is In the Adjustments

Non Farm Payrolls: The Devil Is In the Adjustments


When the US government announced a ‘better than expected’ headline growth number in its non farm payrolls report for August, a loss of ‘only’ 54,000 jobs versus a forecasted loss of 120,000 jobs, people had to wonder, ‘How do they do it? We do not see any of this growth and recovery in our day to day activity.’

Here’s one way that those reporting the numbers can ‘tinker’ with them to produce the desired results.

As you may recall, there is often a very large difference between the raw, unadjusted payroll number and the adjusted number. Seasonality plays the largest role, although there can occasionally be special circumstances. Since this is designed to be a simple example I am going to lump all the various adjustments that could be and call them the ‘seasonality factor’ since it is most usual and signficant.

Here is a chart showing the unadjusted and the adjusted numbers. As you can see, a seasonal adjustment can legitimately normalize the numbers for the use of planners and forecasters. This is a common function in businesses affected by seasonal changes. Year over year growth rates, rather than linear, comparisons, can also serve a similar function.

Quite a variance in numbers that are very large.

Since it probably is in the back of your mind, let’s address the infamous "Birth Deal Model" now, which I have advised may not be such a significant factor as you might imagine. This is an ‘estimate’ of new jobs created by small businesses. A comparison of the last few years demonstrates rather easily that this number is what is called ‘a plug.’

How can the growth of jobs from small business not been significantly impacted by one of the greatest financial collapses in modern economic history?

Certainly the Birth Death model offers room for statistical mischief. It is important to remember that it is added to the RAW number before seasonal adjustment, and that number has huge variances. So the effect of Birth Death is mitigated by the adjustment for seasonality. If it were added to the Seasonal number from which ‘headline growth’ is derived it would be a huge factor. But it is not the case, although the timing of the significant annual adjustments and additions is highly cynical, and supportive of number inflation.…
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Note to Mish: The BLS Added About 145,897 Imaginary Jobs to the Non-Farm Payrolls Headline Number

Note to Mish: The BLS Added About 145,897 Imaginary Jobs to the Non-Farm Payrolls Headline Number


I like Mish Shedlock. He has intellectual integrity, and even when we occasionally disagree, as I recall over the inevitability of deflation and some of its particular consequences and manifestations, I listen to his arguments carefully. He draws conclusions that are difficult to fault. Most of the time we seem to be in agreement.

In his most recent blog, he indirectly poses an interesting question.

"Hidden beneath the surface the BLS Black Box – Birth Death Model added 145,000 jobs. However, as I have pointed out many times before, the Birth/Death numbers cannot be subtracted straight up to get a raw number. It contributed to this month’s employment total for sure, but the BLS will not disclose by how much."

Mish Shedlock, Jobs Decrease by 125,000

Here are the Imaginary Jobs added to the Non Farm Payrolls from the Birth Death Model of the BLS. As Mish reminds us, (thank you Mish. I have been nagging bloggers about this for years), the Imaginary Jobs are added to the unadjusted payroll numbers, which are dramatically impacted by the seasonal adjustments, which are sometimes quite significant.

I include this second chart show the Birth – Death numbers over time to show the historical trend. It is remarkable how ‘regular’ this number has been over the past six years despite an epic recession that devastated small businesses, which is purportedly what this model tracks.

Here is a visual depiction of the Seasonally Adjusted and the Unadjusted Non-Farm Payroll Numbers. As you can see, the adjustment is sometimes very significant. Remember, the Birth Death imaginary jobs are added to the unadjusted number, which is indicated in maroon on this chart.

So obviously one can calculate the ‘seasonality factor’ using a simple formula

Seasonality Factor (SF) = Seasonally Adjusted Number (SA) / Non-Seasonally Adjusted Number (NSA)

I do this each month in the Payrolls Spreadsheet that I maintain. I like to see if the BLS changes its calculations and assumptions over time, especially when they do major revisions.

And although I have never shown it in this blog before, it is relatively…
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Non Farm, Non Encouraging Payrolls

Non Farm, Non Encouraging Payrolls

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

Was I too tough on President Obama this weekend, perhaps being a bit unfair about how responsible he now is for this wreck of an economy?  Maybe.

But here’s a fact:

President Obama sandbagged The Street and many economists last Wednesday by telling us in his remarks to expect a "strong jobs number on Friday".  These comments, which other Presidents have been smart enough not to make so close to an economic release of data, encouraged many analysts to take their numbers up for the May non farm payrolls release.  Goldman went up into the 600 thousand range with the consensus in the low 500 thousands.

This sandbagging led to a 3% bludgeoning of the nation’s wealth when all major markets sold off as a result of the data being anything but an upside surprise.

The President’s off-handed comments, combined with his weaker-than-expected recovery’s job gains, were the proximate causes of this massive sell-off.


Here’s Ex-Wirehouse, writing at the Davian Letter, with the only take on Friday’s number you need to read:

The unmitigated disaster that was the most recent release of the NFP report leaves me in such a grim mood I will skip the cute part and get right to the issue at hand. For the month we created 435,000 jobs of which 411,000 were part time census workers for a total of only about 20k private sector jobs created. The consensus was any where from 150k to 200k (note to self short anything out of VP Joe Bidens Mouth) so it was a miss by a country mile.

I say it again, stop making speeches and start giving businesses a reason to hire.


That NFP # Is Going To Leave A Mark (Davian Letter)

Mr Obama, It’s Your Economy Now (TRB)

Picture credit: Jr. Deputy Accountant  

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Non Farm Payrolls Benchmark Revision and the Unemployment Rate as Cruel Farce

Non Farm Payrolls Benchmark Revision and the Unemployment Rate as Cruel Farce

Courtesy of Jesse’s Café Américain

Well, we ‘hit’ the projected headline number on the nose, with a loss of 20,000 jobs. No credit to us, it was as much a judgement call (aka SWAG) as any product of careful measurement.

As you may have heard, the BLS did a ‘benchmark revision.’ This is Washingtonian for ‘revised the numbers back as far as anyone might care to remember.’

Here is a simple picture of the old and new headline numbers, back to the beginning of the spreadsheet we happen to be using these days.

non farm payrolls

[click on charts to enlarge]

The change is subtle, but pervasive. One thing of note is the shoving of more job losses into the past, setting up a more solid base for great job gains in the future, without embarrassing oneself by getting out of synchronization with the actual growth of the civilian population. There will be more ‘truing up’ of the numbers in the future.

Unemployment Rate as Cruel Farce

Regarding that ‘surprise drop’ in unemployment to 9.7%, this is wholly due to people falling off the unemployment benefits radar, and is essentially meaningless, if not downright misleading.

One may as well solve an unemployment problem by shipping people to Australia. Well, that has some historical precedent. Hard to tell who has gotten the better deal on that one, at least over time.

A better measure of unemployment is the Labor Force Participation Rate, which provides information about the total number of people employed as a percent of the population, without benefit of official banishment.

That number continued to drop again in January, from 64.9% to 64.6%.


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Non-Farm Payrolls Report Preview for January 2010

Non-Farm Payrolls Report Preview for January 2010 

Courtesy of Jesse’s Café Américain

The markets breathlessly await the latest Non-Farm Payrolls Report for the US, which will be released tomorrow morning. January is the month in this report that contains the largest seasonal adjustments by far.

Here is a projection of what tomorrow’s numbers may look like, and their historical context. The raw number unadjusted for seasonality may be a loss of around 4,000,000 jobs.

It is no accident that the BLS does the major adjustment to its Birth-Death Model in January. Keep in mind that the Birth-Death adjustment is applied BEFORE seasonal adjustment, that is, to the raw, unadjusted number.

Given that the expected raw number will probably be around 3.5 million jobs lost, and then adjusted to a headline number much closer to zero, adding even 380,000 or so job losses to that does not result in such an enormous adjustment in January.

In other words, the adjustment is largely adjusted away by the seasonality. Nonsense, hardly connected to the real world, but quite clever bureaucratic sleight of hand really.

Saying all this, it seems almost needless to stress that any projection of the headline number is a tough call in January, because the seasonality has such enormous latitude. More in the nature of a SWAG than a proper forecast.

Then there is also the matter of the revisions to the prior two months at least, and the possibility of a revision to the whole series going back two years, which sometimes occurs.

So, we’ll look for a ‘headline number’ closer to zero than not, with a shade to the negative, maybe a loss of 20,000 or so. But we are very prepared to be surprised to the upside to a positive number, and downside to a loss of around 80,000. That speaks less to our inability to forecast, we hope, and more so to the arbitrary nature of the government’s willingness and ability to fiddle with the numbers.

With pretty colors, it may look more like a sideways chop than a plunge, especially in light of a greater negative from December which will be adjusted but not higher.

And as for the reaction of US equity markets in anticipation today?

As I have stated before, the banks and their prop trading desks are always and everywhere screwing you, and frontrunning their…
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Zero Hedge

Richmond Fed Confirms Weakest Economic Trend Since 2008

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For the first time since 2012, the Richmond Fed business surveyr has been in contraction (below 0) for 3 straight months (and 4 of the last 5). Worse still, the six-month average of the business survey has not deteriorated this fast since Q2 2008. While the underlying components were mixed, inventory levels dropped (bad for GDP), average workweek tumbled (bad for incomes), and new orders re-plunged.

This is the worst drop in the six-month average of the Richmond Fed survey since Q2 2008...


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Chart School

Tech Hold Breakout,.but S&P Wedge Bound

Courtesy of Declan.

It was a mixed day for indices. Large Caps remain bound by wedge support/resistance, but Tech broke upside yesterday from similar wedges and held those breakout today.

There was little change for the S&P over the last couple of days. The one technical change was the MACD trigger 'buy' as other technicals stayed on the bearish side.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq cleared wedge resistance yesterday, and was able to hang on to the breakout despite today's loss. It too enjoyed a MACD trigger 'buy', but had an On-Bal...

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Phil's Favorites

Kansas Ends Bad Economic News by Not Reporting It

In evaluating the results of real-life economic policy experiments it is important to measure them. Avoiding this step in the experimental process detracts from what could be a valuable learning experience, which could, potentially, put some incorrect theories to rest. For instance, consider Kansas. 


“What’s measured, improves.”

So said management legend and author Peter F. Drucker about the value of using metrics to define specific objectives within an organization.

Drucker is no longer with us; if he were, he might want ...

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Timely (Free) Advice

By BroyHill. Originally published at ValueWalk.

This wonderful advice from Fred Schwed was originally published in 1940 – some things never change.

“When there is a stock-market boom, and everyone is scrambling for common stocks, take all your common stocks and sell them. Take the proceeds and buy conservative bonds. No doubt the stocks you sold will go higher. Pay no attention to this – just wait for the depression which will come sooner or later. When this depression – or panic – becomes a national catastrophe, sell out the bonds (perhaps at a loss) and buy back the stocks. No doubt the stocks will go lower still. Again pay no attention. Wait for the next boom. Continue to repeat this operation as long as you live, and you’ll have the pleasure of dying rich”.


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Kimble Charting Solutions

U.S. Dollar Rally: A tale of two chart patterns

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

This article was originally written for See It Market.

The U.S. Dollar Index has been trading in a wide consolidation pattern over the last 18 months or so.  But after the recent U.S. Dollar rally, that consolidation has formed two distinct chart patterns.

And as you may have guessed… one is bullish while the other is bearish.



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Market News

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Financial Markets and Economy

Oil Rises as OPEC Chief Barkindo Seeks to Resolve Output Plan (Bloomberg)

Crude advanced as OPEC’s secretary-general was due to visit Baghdad on Tuesday for talks aimed at resolving a deal on output after Iraq said it should be exempt from planned cuts.

Iron Ore Hoisted on Coat-Tails of Coal’s Record Rally in China (Bloomberg)

Iron ore is surging thanks to its bulk-commodity compatriot, coal. Iron ore futures in Singapore ad...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of October 24th,2016

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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Members' Corner

World Series 2016

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

The good news... Waiting since 1945, after 71 years, the Chicago Cubs have a chance to win their first WS since 1908.  The bad news... The Cubs face an Indian's team that has been waiting since 1948 to win a WS and last appeared in 1997.

CLE swept BOS, and took out TOR who had swept TEX, and has only lost ONE post season game.  That being Game 4 ALCS at TO, yet, during that series, no Indians starting pitcher made it through more than six innings. 

In fact, Trevor Bauer, only lasted two outs during his one start, leaving Merritt and the pen to bear the burden of over eight innings of baseball.  Mid range reliever Merritt notched a victory in that game with ERA 1.80; WHIP 0.60 with 5 IP. 

What does all that tell you? Oddly enough, without Carr...

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Mapping The Market

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

Via Jean-Luc

Good article on investing success:

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

By Morgan Housel

There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.

Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...

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Digital Currencies

Gold, Silver and Blockchain - Fintech Solutions To Negative Rates, Bail-ins, Currency Debasement and Cashless

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

By Jan Skoyles

I was so pleased yesterday by the announcement that I have joined the Research team at GoldCore as it meant that I could finally start talking about it and was back in a role that lets me indulge in my passion by researching and geeking out on all things gold, silver and money.


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Epizyme - A Waiting Game

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer.  One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."

Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.  

Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.'  Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color).  Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

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