Interest Rate Roundup

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

ADP, Challenger: Job picture improves slightly

We won't get the "official" jobs report for the month of July until this Friday. But this morning, we got two preliminary reports on employment and they both show some improvement, though nothing to blow the barn doors off.

First, the Challenger, Gray & Christmas report on job cut announcements showed cuts up to 97,373 in July from 74,393 in June. However, cuts were down 5.7% from the year-ago level. The biggest increases in layoffs were seen in transportation and telecommunications, while the biggest declines in cuts were seen in the government/non-profit and auto sectors.

Second, the ADP report showed the economy shedding 371,000 jobs in July. That was down significantly from a reading of 463,000 in June, and the smallest loss of jobs we've seen from ADP since October 2008. It did miss the consensus forecast of -350,000, however.

The immediate market reaction? After an initial pop on the news, bond futures have reversed and are now down 24/32 on the morning. Stock futures are ever-so-slightly worse, while the dollar has rallied a bit and gold has dipped a bit. But essentially, we're unchanged from where we were before the number.


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