Big Promises. High Expectations.

Last week's Dow rally fades into memory as the market looks for additional positive reinforcement.

Dow futures were down 15 points in Thursday’s pre-opening trading after a third straight day of lethargic trading. Remember that Trump speech rally last week of more than 300 points? Only 40 points of it is left.

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Nothing positive has followed President Trump’s performance. The market should not need continuous positive reinforcement from the White House it never did before but this is a new era in which big promises were made and expectationsare high for delivery.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its jobs report tomorrow, and I have no idea how the bond market will react. The consensus guess by economists remains for a gain of 185,000 in nonfarm payrolls, but traders are braced for a much larger gainafter yesterday’s ADP employment report. With a high payroll number expected, the only risk for more bond market pain will come from the wage component. Hourly wages are expectedto show a gain of 0.3%. A higher number would be a negative for bonds, whereas a lower number would give bond prices a lift.

Read more about bond prices and the stimulus efforts at the European Central Bank.

Dwight Johnston is the chief economist of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and president of Dwight Johnston Economics. He is the author of a popular commentary site and is a frequent speaker at credit union board planning sessions and industry conferences.

March 9, 2017

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