Happy Jobs Day, market watchers. Today’s report will be a pivotal data point in the recession conversation, second only to the upcoming consumer inflation reading due out next Wednesday.
I’m Phil Rosen, sitting on the edge of my seat for 8:30 a.m. ET when July’s nonfarm payrolls report comes out.
This morning’s announcement will bring more clarity as to whether the US is in fact in an actual recession, following last week’s data that revealed that the economy has met the technical definition of the term.
And that, my friends, holds serious implications for sentiment across the world.
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1. Last week’s reading of two consecutive GDP contractions sparked a semantic debate on what constitutes a recession.
Officially, only the National Bureau of Economic Research can declare a downturn, although sometimes it does so months after the fact.
Notably, the GDP marker has preceded every NBER-defined recession for the past 74 years.
And that’s accompanied by a yield curve that’s been inverted for a month.
The flip-flopping of the 2-year and 10-year Treasury notes is another widely-used recession indicator that preceded the downturns in 1990, 2000, and 2008, and tells us investors lack confidence in the economy and expect heightened risk of a recession in the near term.
Still, some commentators have pointed to a strong labor market as reason to quell fears.
Today’s data could be a make or break moment in the debate.
July’s nonfarm payroll report may show the labor market is losing momentum, which would deflate the idea that strong jobs data is holding off a recession.
Expectations are for the US to have added 250,000 jobs in July. June data showed employers added 372,000 jobs.
While the Fed points to inflation as the biggest threat to the economy, critics have said policymakers are sacrificing employment for high prices.
That trade-off could be a case of the medicine being worse than the disease. Stimulus aid has mostly run out for Americans, and many are now tapping their savings to keep spending.
Notably, to Goldman Sachs, higher unemployment poses the “first and foremost” risk to an economic recovery.
You can catch up-to-the-minute updates on today’s jobs data with Insider’s live blog.
In other news:
2. These recession-proof stocks look cheap given their track record in weathering economic downturns, according to Morningstar. The research firm highlighted a batch of companies that they expect to still deliver returns amid turmoil. See the list of 10 names here.
3. A veteran fund manager and author laid out why tech stocks are actually much cheaper than they appear. “Either we’re overdue a dot-com bust, or the metrics used to calculate prices are wrong,” Adam Seessel said. He explained the best strategy to figure out what they are really worth.
4. BlackRock warned of three behavioral flaws that can torment investors in the new era of volatility. When money is at stake, people make irrational decisions with money. Analysts from the world’s largest money manager shared how to overcome those shortcomings and succeed in today’s market.
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5. Job openings tumbled to 10.7 million from 11.3 million in June, and that suggests the labor market is badly out of whack. Today’s jobs report will provide more details into the state of the economy. Here’s what to know about the numbers in the chart.
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