Instant view: U.S. payrolls better than expected, as markets look to coronavirus impact

(Reuters) – U.S. employers maintained a robust pace of hiring in February, giving the economy a strong boost as it confronts the coronavirus outbreak that has stoked financial market fears of a recession and prompted an emergency interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve. KEY POINTS: U.S. February employment data for February came in well…

Instant view: U.S. payrolls better than expected, as markets look to coronavirus impact

(Reuters) – U.S. employers maintained a robust pace of hiring in February, giving the economy a strong boost as it confronts the coronavirus outbreak that has stoked financial market fears of a recession and prompted an emergency interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve. KEY POINTS: U.S. February employment data for February came in well above expectations, with the U.S. economy creating 273,000 jobs in the month compared to an analyst forecast of 175,000. Market participants remain focused on the risks from a coronavirus outbreak that has accelerated around the world in recent weeks. Stocks, Treasury yields and the dollar all remain solidly lower. COMMENTS: MICHAEL ARONE, CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, STATE STREET GLOBAL ADVISORS, BOSTON “If you have a really strong jobs report and there’s no one around to hear it, does it make a noise? Today’s an example that it doesn’t. There are many other things that investors are focused on besides the jobs report this morning. “Pre-coronavirus the labor market continued to demonstrate strength and that most of the economic data pre-coronavirus signals an economy that was on firm footing. This report would contribute to that idea, whether it’s the top-line number, the revisions, the employment rate or whether it was the broad-based gains we saw across industries. The average (jobs growth) over the last three is much higher than the average for all of 2019. So this report does demonstrate a labor market that was strong and had a very solid foundation prior to the coronavirus. “That’s what the report tells us, but it doesn’t tell us much about the next few weeks and months from that standpoint. What’s interesting is that this report was cut off in the middle of February before the coronavirus began to spread. But yesterday’s jobless claim report went through the end of February and it still hung in there pretty well. That demonstrates that so far layoffs haven’t picked in response to coronavirus, but again we’re bracing for what the next few weeks and months hold.” DARRELL CRONK, PRESIDENT, WELLS FARGO INVESTMENT INSTITUTE, AND CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, WEALTH AND INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT AT WELLS FARGO IN NEW YORK “Markets don’t seem to care. This number is what I would call asymmetrical, there wasn’t a lot of upside opportunity if it came in better than expected, which it did, but if it came in worse than expected than everyone was going to assume the economy was even weaker than anticipated heading into a coronavirus shock. The beat was substantial but this might be one of our
Read More From Publisher