To listen to the graybeards of monetary policy lately, the answer is "not much."
The International Monetary Fund said Thursday that the Fed should hold off on its initial interest rate hike until next year, extending its historic run of near-zero rates because inflation is so low.
Similarly, speeches by two Fed policy makers, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Open Market Committee member Lael Brainerd, emphasized the risks to the recovery after a weather-afflicted first quarter and a very slow start to the second quarter.
So you have officials who don't want to move, and a jobs report that says they have more reason to hike rates than they had a week ago.
The number crushed expectations for about 225,000 new jobs, though the unemployment rate's climb wasn't expected. (The rate went up because 397,000 people entered the work force last month, according to the Labor Department's survey). Wages went up more than expected, reaching a 2.3% year-over-year gain in average hourly earnings.
And the report crushed expectations in the right way.
Cyclical sectors surged, with 57,000 new jobs in leisure and hospitality, as companies like Marriott International (MAR) and Starwood (HOT) are reporting near-record rates of occupancy and revenue per room.
Retail did great, adding 31,000 jobs. Construction companies added 17,000 workers, a relatively modest number that reflects how home builders like D.R. Horton (DHI) and PulteGroup (PHM) aren't seeing demand that is even half of prerecession levels.
That's already raising some expectations that the Fed will begin to move on rates as soon as June, or at least by September. Especially since May auto sales were boffo. TheStreet's Jim Cramer just said on CNBC that the market will soon divide into a June and a September camp for rate-raise expectations.
But it's too soon for a move -- and investors shouldn't make too much of the data yet.
It's too soon because this is a hugely cautious Fed -- if caution means changing policy slowly to nurture this recovery. Janet Yellen's Fed moved more slowly to end quantitative easing in 2013 than markets talked themselves into expecting, and even took months to remove the word "patient" this year from statements describing how long they'd wait to raise rates.
The speeches by Brainerd and Rosengren this week simply drive that point home. The market should listen.
Investors would be smart to tune out some of the noise coming from market pundits, whose views have fluctuated much more than actual asset prices and key interest rates for the real economy.