Thursday was a quiet day in trading but disappointing economic news still dominated. Jobless Claims came in beneath expectations despite being slightly better than the previous week; however, the four-week moving average is 30K higher. Chain Store sales were disappointing with pundits blaming the weather again. Factory Orders missed consensus forecasts at -1.2%. Lastly, not that it's much of a surprise, Moody's warned it could downgrade U.S. bond ratings should the budget deficit and debt not be resolved. So, do you think Turbo-Tim would ever stiff "the Beard"?
Anyway, the big number on Friday is the employment data. Estimates have been frantically reduced over the week given other poor data. The current consensus is 170K jobs, which is quite low, so upside surprises may be built in given all the downward revisions. Also on tap is ISM Services Index which is expected to increase to 54 from 52.8.
After yesterday's big down day markets achieved some hard fought stability. It's strange to think the employment report will hold surprises but it's Friday and bulls definitely want to go out feeling better.The Fed was quiet Thursday but underwriters are busy getting some new issues to market ("while the getting's good") including Groupon and Pandora. These companies saw what happened with LinkedIn and they want their piece of the action. Volume continued at a higher level as bulls and bears fought it out. Breadth per the WSJ was mixed. You can follow our pithy comments on twitter and join our conversation the conversation on facebook. Continue to U.S. Sector, Stocks & Bond ETFs