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Market Lab Report - Pre-Market Pulse 4/5/18

Market averages continued their reflex rally yesterday on lighter volume, but not without the usual intraday volatility. Last night, President Trump proposed an additional $100 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods, escalating the current trade war between the two countries. Futures immediately reacted sharply to the downside.

Futures are currently lower by about half a percent at the time of this writing. March nonfarm payrolls increased by 103,000 vs. est 175,000. The prior month's increase was revised to 326,000 from 313,000. Nonfarm private payrolls rose by 102,000 vs. est 180,000. The previous month's increase was revised to 320,000 from 287,000.

Average hourly earnings increased 0.3% vs. est 0.2%, while the previous month's increase was left unrevised at 0.1%. The average workweek was reported at 34.5 matching consensus. The unemployment rate stayed at 4.1% vs. est 4.0%.

The jobs report may diminish the odds of 4 rate hikes this year, though the real issue as we have written is the sputtering global economy which eventually will push the Fed to reverse its hikes as it is forced to launch a new QE program once again. This time, however, the effect of QE will be even less than before. At that point, currency devaluation will be the only recourse.

Focus List Notes:
Until the current market volatility subsides there is little to do with Focus List names outside of short-term trades, but holding positions overnight subjects one to the risk of gap-down opens due to the highly news-oriented environment. Risk remains high unless one is willing to be a nimble trader, and even that is no guarantee of success.

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