The devil is in the details of the US employment report

Too much job creation risked putting more upward pressure on interest rates; too little risked undermining confidence in US growth. In either case, the risk that US stock markets would react negatively to this month’s employment report were significant. With stock market indices just barely above their end-March low points and with 10-year interest rate seemingly ready to break through the 3% barrier, the importance of this month’s employment report was greater than usual.

As usually happens in this type of situation, everyone sees what he or she wants to see. One or two additional data points, such as April inflation or oil prices, are probably needed to tip the scales in one direction or the other over the next few days. But one thing is certain: it’s getting complicated.

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