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Weekly Macro Updates

Unemployment Rate (Feb)  3.6% est., 3.5% actual, 3.6% prior
Change in Nonfarm Payrolls (Feb) 175k est., 273k actual, 273k prior: R+
Change in Private Payrolls (Feb)  160k est., 228k actual, 222k prior: R+
Change in Manufact. Payrolls (Feb) (-3k est., 15k actual, -20k prior: R+)
Initial Jobless Claims (Feb 29)  215k est., 216k actual, 219k prior
Continuing Claims (Feb 22) 1738k est., 1729k actual, 1722k prior: R-
Average Hourly Earnings YoY (Feb)  3.0% est., 3.0% actual, 3.1% prior
Labor Force Participation Rate (Feb)  63.4% est., 63.4% actual, 63.4% prior
Markit US Services PMI (Feb F)  49.4 est., 49.4 actual, 49.4 prior
Markit US Composite PMI (Feb F) 49.6 actual, 49.6 prior
ISM Manufacturing (Feb F)  50.5 est., 50.1 actual, 50.9 prior
ISM New Orders (Feb F)  51.8 est., 49.8 actual, 52.0 prior

Capital Market Implications

Last week’s employment reports showcased slow and steady employment growth as nonfarm payrolls grew more than expected and the unemployment rate ticked down.  However, employment reports are backward-looking and last week’s releases do not reflect the initial impact of the coronavirus on the labor market, with sectors such as travel and entertainment expected to be weaker as consumer behaviors change.  Manufacturing releases remain muted as orders again showed declines.

Although quickly overshadowed by Monday’s large drop in stocks, last week saw mixed performance, with most markets ending the week on a positive note.  The S&P 500 and Dow Jones indices both ended the week with positive performance, up 0.7% and 1.8% respectively.  Smaller cap stocks struggled, losing -1.8% and growth continued to be do better than value.  International markets also ended the week on a positive note, with developed markets gaining 0.4% while emerging markets were up 0.7%.  Bonds were mostly positive for the week, with the Aggregate index up 1.9% and both corporate and municipal bonds gaining for the week.  High yield bonds, which are more heavily influenced by movements in stocks markets, were down -0.4% for the week.  Meanwhile, volatility continues to play out this week across both stock and bond markets, and we will have further analysis in next week’s update.


Strong or Improving
Inconclusive or lacking trend
Weak or declining
R+ Revised up
R- Revised down

Directional change based on general
long-term tends.