A job-market surprise has reinforced the economic optimists and pushed long-term rates close to their highs of the year: the 10-year T-note to 3.86 percent, lowest-fee mortgages to 5.75 percent. The stock market is ecstatic, continuing its straight-line July run — the S&P 500 at 1,015 today, the highest level since early October.
In this morning’s report, payrolls lost only 247,000 jobs in July, a hundred thousand fewer than most forecasts and barely half of the June losses. This first-Friday monthly employment report gets more attention than any because jobs drive consumption and tax revenue. If too cold they drive recession, if too hot: inflation.