Strong employment report makes Powell’s job harder to turn cautious

Employment remains robust for the US economy.  The non-farm payroll report for December beat expectations with a 312,000 reading, way above the 184,000 forecast and the prior reading which was revised higher to 176,000.  Wages are stellar, also rising to 0.4% from 0.2% and above the eyed 0.2%.  The unemployment rate rose from 3.7% to 3.9% as the participation rate jumped to 63.1%.

Stocks traded slightly lower following the data release and the dollar rallied against its major trading partners.

The stage is now set for Fed Chair Powell, who many were hoping to turn cautious at today’s American Economic Association’s Annual Meeting.  It will be difficult following this strong report, but Powell should still be able to still temper his assessment of the US economy.  .

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Ed Moya

Ed Moya

Senior Market Analyst, The Americas at OANDA
With more than 20 years’ trading experience, Ed Moya is a senior market analyst with OANDA, producing up-to-the-minute intermarket analysis, coverage of geopolitical events, central bank policies and market reaction to corporate news. His particular expertise lies across a wide range of asset classes including FX, commodities, fixed income, stocks and cryptocurrencies. Over the course of his career, Ed has worked with some of the leading forex brokerages, research teams and news departments on Wall Street including Global Forex Trading, FX Solutions and Trading Advantage. Most recently he worked with TradeTheNews.com, where he provided market analysis on economic data and corporate news. Based in New York, Ed is a regular guest on several major financial television networks including CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Yahoo! Finance Live, Fox Business and Sky TV. His views are trusted by the world’s most renowned global newswires including Reuters, Bloomberg and the Associated Press, and he is regularly quoted in leading publications such as MSN, MarketWatch, Forbes, Breitbart, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Ed holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University.
Ed Moya