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Let your dreadful weekend of reading about potentially plunging stock markets and world wars commence.
The U.S. created a meager 98,000 jobs in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, well below estimates for an increase of 180,000. No matter if the bad weather weighed on the jobs market last month, ditto retail store closures by J.C. Penney (JCP) , Macy's (M) , and Sears (SHLD) , this report is horrible and the absolute last thing the already on-edge marked needed.
It sucks for several reasons. First, the disappointment comes a day after bombings in Syria by Trump have begun to rattle confidence in markets around the world. If the jobs report was decent, perhaps the market would have been more easily able to get beyond the war of words between Syria, Russia, Iran and the U.S. Alas, that is now off the table; risk assets will deservedly price in greater risk.
Secondarily, the headline miss in jobs and downward revisions to prior months arrives as the Federal Reserve is sounding hawkish with respect to rates and its balance sheet. Did the Fed miss something in their assessment of the economy? Are they locked into raising interest rates even if jobs underwhelm again in April? These are just some of the questions that will surface in the wake of the March numbers.
Not helping matters at all is that the market has been losing confidence in the Trump administration over the last two weeks. Investors came into the March employment report looking for excuses to sell stocks, and they certainly got one.
Technically speaking, the world isn't falling apart -- so breathe a sigh of relief. But, the stock market is sure looking like it could fall apart. Pay careful attention to the leaders of the market in the wake of Trump's win such as Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) . If they start to lag the major indices on Friday and into early next week, it would be a serious red flag.
Read This or Lose Out
Your spotlight ETF: Heard some clown on business news radio last night that Friday would be "blood on the streets" in the market, and one should consider putting money to work. Right. With the market already sputtering ahead of the Syrian strike, this latest bit of news flow could be the trigger for a deeper pullback. The smartest way to play this volatility could be to pay up to own some of the iShares US Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA) . It holds shares in 40 of the top defense companies such as Boeing (BA) and Raytheon (RTN) (whose cruise missiles were unleashed on Syria).
Adidas takes 3D manufacturing to the next level: Adidas (ADDYY) is releasing its first sneaker, the Futurecraft 4D, that features what it says are soles made with digital light synthesis, TheStreet reports. For you non scientists out there, digital light synthesis is allegedly the next generation of 3D printing manufacturing that allows Adidas to provide athletes with tailor-made shoes.
"It's actually a tool to help you perform better, it's not a toy," Adidas Head of Global Brands Eric Liedtke told me in an interview last night. "This is the holy grail of sneakers." While impressively engineered (see below), after toying around with the shoe a bit I don't think it's the holy grail of sneakers. For that, some of Nike's (NKE) recent introductions -- especially ones with no laces -- take the cake. But, Adidas gave us a great look into the future of making more custom sneakers by using 3D printing, which in this case will be done in the U.S. with a third-party called Carbon.
Under Armour has a home-run sneaker: Under Armour (UA) has had its fair share of struggles in the sneaker business through the years, so it deserves this latest win. Under Armour tells me that its latest shoe drop inspired by actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson have sold out, in about a day. The shoe is currently being reordered. This is the latest example of how The Rock's popularity across social media -- and in general -- is making Under Armour look like a genius for signing him, as his products are instant hot-sellers.
If only Under Armour could find a few more product movers like Johnson...
No nasty Big Macs for Xi: As USA Today points out, Chinese president Xi Jinping didn't get the McDonald's (MCD) Big Mac promised by then civilian Trump a few years ago. "I would not be throwing him a dinner. I would get him a McDonald's hamburger and say we've got to get down to work because you can't continue to devalue (the Chinese currency)," Trump told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly in 2015. "I would give them probably a double-sized Big Mac."
On the contrary, Trump has offered up Xi a mix of steak and wine during their pow-wow at Mar-A-Lago.
(What will move markets this quarter and how should investors position themselves ahead of time? Jim Cramer sat down with four of TheStreet's top columnists recently to get their views. Click here to listen to his latest Trading Strategies roundtable with them and read their advice for stocks, bonds, forex and gold.)