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There's a Silver Lining for Investors Following Weak Jobs Report

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The jobs data was weak, and the U.S. market was indicating it's certainly optimistic the Federal Reserve will implement accommodative interest rate policy in the near future. 

But how does an investor know this is the trend, rather than a blip on the radar? Institutional Investment Strategist Chris Macke has a clear answer for that. 

First, here's what the market told us Friday. After data showed 130,000 non-farm payrolls (105,000 adjusted) were added to the economy, missing economists estimates of $164,000, the S&P 500 rose .09%. Meanwhile, the 10 year treasury yield fell slightly to 1.549%. The moves indicate the market is optimistic that the Fed will cut rates once or twice in 2019, as the jobs report was weak. 

According to Macke, the jobs report was closer to "on trend" rather than "off trend."

"The economic indicators -- we're going to have some warm days, we're going to have some cooler days," Macke said. But the trend is cold overall to Macke. "Most importantly, it is the trend that will determine the investors' returns in the future."

Economic data, ranging from business sentiment, to consumer sentiment, to GDP has all clearly decelerated in the past year or so. Manufacturing activity recently contracted. Levels of activity may remain high, but the weak jobs number is on trend. 

Therefore, Macke thinks, the Fed will cut rates at least once, although "it's hard to say" whether there will be two cuts. 

In any event, rate cuts can provide a sport level to the economy, many on Wall Street have said of late. But the increased tariffs from both the U.S. and the Chinese have gotten to a level that may outweigh the positive impact of rate cuts. "If all the currently proposed tariffs are implemented, growth in the first half of next year will slow toward the brink of a recession," said UBS Chief Investment Officer of Global Wealth Management Chris Haefele. 

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 is back up 19% year-to-date, bringing the average forward one-year earnings multiple close to 18, a level many say is overstretched. Safe assets don't offer a great alternative, with the 10 year treasury yield at 1.5%. Some have recommended going to cash. Others have recommended dividend stocks, some of which provide premium yields to the treasury market. 

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