Bullish jobs data collided with hawkish Fed comments.
First the scoreboard:
And now the top stories:
- It's jobs week in America. According to ADP, the private sector added 215k jobs in December. This was much higher than the 140k expected by economists. This is a good sign because many consider this to be the preview for the official employment situation report, which will be published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM ET.
- According to Challenger Gray And Christmas, announced layoffs plunged in December from November and December from the year prior. However, this number tends be noisy. In November, the number spiked due to the Hostess bankruptcy.
- Initial claims, however, were disappointing. Claims for the week ending December 29 jumped to 372k, which was higher than the 360k expected by economists. Also, the prior week's number was revised up to 362k from a preliminary reading of 350k.
- The big story of the day was certainly the minutes from the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting. This was the same meeting when the Fed announced it would employ unemployment rate and inflation rate targets to guide monetary policy. Many had seen this as an extremely dovish move.
- However, according to the minutes today, we learned that several members of the FOMC actually wanted to halt or cut quantitative easing programs before the end of 2013, which is much sooner than most would've expected. The unexpectedly hawkish tone caused stocks and gold instantly tanked on the news.
- "This should significantly amplify the financial market's sensitivity to upcoming economic data, particularly if we witness a spell of robust economic reports which could bring into question the perception of the Fed's exit strategy," wrote Deutsche Bank economist Joe LaVorgna.
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