This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

What the Jobs Report Actually Means for Borrowers

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Last week's disappointing jobs report has experts scrambling for answers. It looks like hopes for an accelerating economic recovery were a bit premature. Then again, maybe this was just a bump in the road.

What's it all mean for ordinary folk socking money away for retirement, shopping for mortgages - just trying to make sound financial decisions?

The key takeaway: If you're generally happy with your financial setup, it probably doesn't make sense to do anything drastic, at least not until the situation is clearer.

While the experts talk Treasuries, we have the scoop for you on what a lackluster jobs report will mean for the average investor this month.

The monthly employment report showed only about 120,000 jobs created in March, about half the number in each of the preceding three months. But some pros think unusually warm weather in January and February stole some hiring that normally takes place in March - construction and landscaping jobs, for instance.

And one month's numbers don't make a trend. Overall, December through March looked pretty good. It will take two or three more months to get a sense of whether the recovery is stalling or strengthening.

Still, the March jobs report underscores the fragility of the recovery, and that could help to keep interest rates low longer than many experts had expected. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke had said the Fed would keep short-term rates at zero through 2014, but growing numbers of experts had begun to predict recently that a heating economy would force the Fed to raise rates sooner to head off inflation. Now it looks like Bernanke might have been right.

This is good news for borrowers. Mortgage rates may remain at today's extraordinary lows for some time. So there's probably no need to rush out to buy a home to beat an increase. If you worry that home prices could drop a bit more, you can probably hold off buying for a few months to see if they appear to have hit bottom.

At the same time, there's probably no reason to postpone a refinancing, as mortgage rates just can't go much lower.

Things are trickier for income-oriented investors. In the days since the jobs numbers came out, many experts have talked about how this is good news for high-quality bonds like U.S. Treasuries.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs