Bond markets came into the session essentially unchanged after having held near the higher end of their recent range in the few days leading up to this morning’s jobs report. The headline Nonfarm Payrolls came in at 192k versus a forecast consensus of 200k. But revisions added another +39k to the past 2 months. It’s interesting to note that 192k+39k = 231k, which is right about where we should be if job creation stayed flat and weather-related payrolls losses came back into the market (based on these calculations).
That provides two ways to look at today’s data. On the one hand, it’s reasonably strong, having come in close to consensus and seeing positive revisions. On the other hand, the previous calculations suggested we’d see a few more jobs come back into the market. Perhaps they still will, but for now, it’s not the colossal beat that it might have been (April jobs tend to beat big when they beat).
Markets were undoubtedly prepared for a bigger number and the quick bond market rally was evidence of that. Even then, it was only good enough for a moderately sized rally. The next 2 steps forward came courtesy of headlines out of Europe suggesting legitimate testing of a €1 trillion QE package. Whereas we’d normally see Treasury movement dwarf that of German Bunds on an NFP day, today is an exception. NFP made for the 8:30am move, but Europe led the next one:
Since then, slumping domestic equities haven’t stood in the way of further bond market positivity, but the close of European markets might. Whatever the case may be, bonds have ceased their rally and moved more sideways since European trading wrapped up half an hour ago.