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MBS Day Ahead: NFP Doesn't Matter (Even If It Looks Like It Does)

By: Matthew Graham
Posted Fri, Dec 6 2019, 8:31 AM

First Friday of the month, and thus time for the nonfarm payrolls (NFP) data.  Also known simply as "the jobs report," no other piece of economic data has as much of a track record of inspiring massive market movement.  But in the current environment, no other piece of data is as far from its historical level of significance.  

Part of this is purely a factor of where we are in the economic cycle.  Job growth and unemployment have been so good for so long that no one is really going to care much about it until it begins to show cracks.  The more timely part has to do with the trade war and the fact that the manufacturing sector takes the biggest hit.  Manufacturing comprises a small portion of job growth.  Beyond that, the trade war resolution (or lack thereof) is something that will have an impact well into the future even though it may cause seemingly serious temporary effects.

In other words, quite a bit of bad data can be taken with a grain of salt right now because markets have to consider the possibility that it will improve in the event of a trade deal.  Jobs are no exception. 

Either way, the amount of movement we may see today would simply be a speck of dust in the bigger picture where the considerations are massive.  Specifically, bonds are deciding what kind of trip to 1.50% 2019 will have been: more like 2012 or more like 2016?  (Or something new and different?).  We could see a ton of movement today without even beginning to answer this question.

MBS Pricing Snapshot
Pricing shown below is delayed, please note the timestamp at the bottom. Real time pricing is available via MBS Live.
FNMA 3.0
101-11 : +0-00
10 YR
1.7910 : -0.0040
Pricing as of 12/6/19 8:29AMEST

Tomorrow's Economic Calendar
Time Event Period Forecast Prior
Friday, Dec 06
8:30 Non-farm payrolls (k)* Nov 180 128
8:30 Unemployment rate mm (%)* Nov 3.6 3.6
10:00 Consumer Sentiment Dec 97.0 96.8
10:00 Wholesale inventories mm (%) Oct 0.2 0.2

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