This week's calendar of economic data has a roughly average number of reports, but several of them are potent market movers. Friday's jobs report, of course, is the most important piece of data as far as bond markets are concerned. Through it all, investors will still be left to sort out the extent of the weather impact. The current consensus is somewhere between "not at all, it's always cold in the winter" to "this is an exceptionally cold/snowy winter that's caused most of the weakness in recent numbers."
It continues to be the case that strong data is even more troublesome for bond markets because of the weather issue. Reason being: weak data can be excused to some extent while strong data is either seen as rising above weather-constraints or simply strong regardless of weather (which isn't any better for bonds).
Right off the bat, we'll get to see how a report that took a big jump lower last month is doing now--ISM Manufacturing. This is one of the most significant pieces of data apart from Friday's jobs numbers, and is forecast to come in nearly as weak as January's reading.
After that, Tuesday is the only calm calendar day before the final approach to Payrolls Friday. Wednesday brings the equally important ISM Non-Manufacturing and ADP reports while Thursday has the European Central Bank Announcement and Press conference coinciding as usual with 8:30am data such as Jobless Claims. Fed speakers dot the calendar as well.
Beyond the data-based considerations, there's another potent market-mover in the room. Geopolitical tensions in Ukraine mounted further over the weekend. Stocks and bonds each went out of their way to acknowledge that fact with big moves lower (stock prices and bond yields) at the open. As with any geopolitical situation affecting markets, we'll only know the corner has been turned in hindsight. Until then, it's a wild card that's thus far been working in favor of bond markets, but we should remember that sets us up to give something back when tensions begin to subside.
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