|10 year government bond yield||3.23%|
|30 year fixed rate mortgage||4.93%|
Stocks are flat after the jobs report. Bonds and MBS are down
Jobs report data dump:
- Payrolls up 134,000 (way below expectations)
- Unemployment rate 3.7%
- Labor force participation rate 62.7%
- Average hourly earnings up 0.3% MOM / 2.8% YOY
Definitely a bond-bullish jobs report, with payrolls and average hourly earnings below expectations. The global sell-off in bonds continues, which appears to be dominating. Yet another jobs report where ADP and the BLS get completely different readings. The unemployment rate is the lowest since 1969.
While the business press is focusing on the unemployment rate, which is hitting the lowest since the late 60s, the labor force participation rate seems to be stuck at just under 63%. That ratio (and the employment-population ratio) should be moving higher. Yes demographics (the retiring baby boom) explain some of it, but as people live longer, people should be working longer as well. It probably should go higher, but in the meantime highly paid baby boomers are being replaced by lower earning Millennials, which helps explain why average hourly earnings are moving up at an unsatisfying pace.
Beware of narrative changes. Good news is now bad news. Good economic news now is a negative for stocks because it means rates are going higher. FWIW, higher rates will be negative for some sectors and benign for others. But yes, REITs and utilities which were prized for their dividend yields during the ZIRP years are now going to be under pressure. The homebuilders will be sensitive to this as well, however they shouldn’t be. There is enough pent-up demand for housing that they should be able to pump out volume for years to come. As long as rate are rising for the right reasons (stronger growth encourages investors to take more risk) and not the wrong reasons (inflation on the horizon) then it should be a non-event for stocks. That said, money market instruments, which were eschewed by investors during the ZIRP years, are going to re-take their share of the investment dollar.