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Market Lab Report - Premarket Pulse for Friday, March 9, 2018

Major market averages moved higher yesterday with the NASDAQ Composite Index posting its highest closing high since the February 9th lows. NYSE volume was lower as the S&P 500 Index rallied but remains just below its 50-dma. The upside move in the indexes came despite President Trump's signing of proclamations imposing steel and aluminum tariffs but also allowing for flexibility in dealing with trading partners that are also key U.S. allies, such as Canada and Mexico.

Futures are spiking higher on February nonfarm payrolls which increased by 313,000 vs. est 210,000. This was the biggest gain since mid-2016 and a reflection of the strongest labor market in two decades. The prior month's increase was revised to 239,000 from 200,000. Nonfarm private payrolls rose by 287,000 vs. est 195,000. The previous month's increase was revised to 238,000 from 196,000. Average hourly earnings increased by 0.2% matching consensus, while the previous month's increase was left unrevised at 0.3%. The average workweek was reported at 34.5 vs. est 34.4, and the previous month's reading was revised to 34.4 from 34.3. The unemployment rate stayed at 4.1% vs. est 4.0%.

Today's jobs report belies the persistent economic weakness observed around the world. Yesterday's announcement from the European Central Bank that their current rate of bond buying may well persist longer than expected and they may even have to increase their bond buying program if economic conditions warrant came as no surprise. Meanwhile, investors are wary of indications that the U.S. labor market is tightening up, which could boost wages and inflation. Rising inflation would spur the Federal Reserve to speed up its rate rises which could pop the QE bubble as the QE-motivated bull market is in its ninth year. Nevertheless, the U.S. stock market is the direct recipient of the QE money flow which explains the numerous shallow corrections and the more pronounced correction which seems to be concluding with a fast bounce back toward old highs.

Focus List Notes:
Nvidia (NVDA) continues to rest along its 20-dema as it holds tight along the line with volume drying up to -36% below-average yesterday. The stock remains in a lower-risk entry position using the 20-dema as a selling guide.
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