Dow futures are higher by 45 points in pre-opening trading and bond prices are lower. There was no news overnight, and traders are doing little besides watching the newswires for election news. And they are getting more nervous by the hour. Stocks didn’t fall sharply yesterday, but they fell enough for the Dow to close below 18,000 for the first time since July 7.
Bond prices have opened lower this morning as the German bond market is in retreat, but it’s been a good week for bonds so far. This has been a good week for economic data as well, yet rates are down for the obvious reason.
The FOMC statement yesterday was a non-event. The Fed has definitely set the market up for a tightening in December, but there are too many potential landmines between now and then to predict a Fed move with any certainty.
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Looking For A Clear Winner
Weekly Jobless Claims came in at 265k. Later this morning, Factory Orders and Non-Manufacturing ISM will be released. Those should not get too much attention.
Normally, traders would immediately start focusing on tomorrow’s jobs report, and the release will cause a brief flurry of activity. This should be an important jobs report. It will be one of two the Fed will see before December, and a big surprise to the downside could change the Fed's outlook. A strong number would lock the Fed in. But this number will only matter in hindsight. If the election is peaceful and a clear winner is named, traders might care about this number next Friday when they look back at everything after the dust settles.
“Peaceful?” “Clear?” In this election? Hey, a guy can dream can’t he?
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.