Were you shocked by this morning’s big jobs surprise? Well, you have only yourself to blame because if you were one of my DJU subscribers, you would have received this chart on Monday night (click to enlarge):
That dramatic “V” turn in payroll-tax collections in October is hard to miss, no? Withholding taxes don’t lie. And here’s what I wrote in my letter:
“Economists are only expecting 190,000 new jobs to be reported in Friday’s non-farm payrolls report. And that is the most-pessimistic forecast of the year. Economists tend to just extrapolate the recent trend, and this dour forecast looks like a consequence of last month’s big miss of only +142,000 jobs. So, I think the odds favor an upside surprise on Friday.”
Did I nail that or what? Now, go to DJU and subscribe. WTF is wrong with you anyway?
On Friday morning (3/8/15) everybody was surprised when the jobs report blew away estimates. Economists were expecting 230,000 new jobs, and the BLS reported +295,000. Before the shock could wear off, people were shocked again as the raging bull market “celebrated” the good news by plunging. The DJIA closed down 279 points.
People were turned every which way but loose, except for a small elite group of investors who were advised of this exact scenario three full days prior by an email sent by your hero (that would be me in case you are confused on the subject).
How did I do it? Well, economists were frightened by rising unemployment-claims, but just because some people get laid off doesn’t mean that other people aren’t getting hired. And the soaring withholding-tax data that I follow at The Daily Jobs Update was rocketing upward. So, the stage was set for a big surprise – a surprise that would shock investors into visions of Janet Yellen taking away their punch bowl.
While I didn’t cure cancer or deliver world peace, one of the aforementioned elite investors described my call as “beautiful” and “masterful.”
The moral of the story is that you should subscribe to The Daily Jobs Update and gain access to this esoteric, and invaluable, real-time economic indicator.
On April 5th, investors were jolted when the non-farm payrolls report came in at +88,000 – missing expectations by a mile. However, the day before on ritholtz.com, I wrote:
“If a weak number is reported, the odds favor it will likely be revised upward in the future.”
And what happened today?
Not only did the non-farm payrolls report show +165,000 jobs for April, beating expectations, but also +114,000 in revisions for February and March. The S&P 500 blasted to an all-time high.
So, I totally nailed it. How did I do that? Easy: tax collections don’t lie. Companies go to great lengths to avoid paying taxes, squirreling away their money in the Caymans, making employees “independent contractors”, floating bonds when they have billions in the bank, etc. So, when tax collections are strong, it’s pretty much guaranteed that lots of jobs are being created.
And if you subscribed to The Daily Jobs Update, you would know all about it.
On Friday, the BLS reported that the economy created 236,000 jobs in February. Having predicted only 171,000 jobs, economists were surprised. However, my subscribers at The Daily Jobs Update were not because on Tuesday night, I sent them this chart (click to enlarge):
The chart plots the growth-rate of federal withholding-tax collections – the money withheld from paychecks. The “second derivative” of the data, the slope of the chart, was clearly slanted upward since January. So, the economy was gaining momentum. The Daily Jobs Update is not free, but if you want free data, just head over the Zero Edge and stay bearish until your wife takes away your trading account.
How good is 236,000 jobs? Well, it’s better than a sharp stick in the eye. But after we deduct 100,000 or so for population growth, perhaps another 100,000 for mass legal immigration, and god-only-knows how many thousands of more jobs offshored, its no surprise the that number of people on food stamps has hit a record high. See the next post.
Way, way back on March 5, 2012 I posted: “Microsoft Poised to Commit Suicide” in which I concluded:
“I wouldn’t hold MSFT if you put a gun to my head.”
On that day, MSFT closed at $31.80. On Friday, it closed at $26.55 – down 16.5% since my call. See the red arrows on the chart (click to enlarge):
Not only that, but Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows Division has been booted out of Microsoft.
Did I totally nail that, or what?