Payrolls and China Trade

Stocks gapped higher Thursday, mostly on the back of continued hope for a partial trade deal with China.  However, it then spent the rest of the day wavering back down and then up again.  Markets ended below the open, but still mildly higher.  The SPY gained 0.18%, the DIA gained 0.11%, and QQQ gained 0.20%.  However, keep in mind that even after the second straight day of gains, the indices remain below Monday’s candle.  So, there is no clear trend this week.

The main economic news yesterday was the OPEC meeting.  They are reportedly considering an additional 500,000 barrel/day production cut (bringing their total cuts to 1.7 million barrels).  However, the Thursday session ended with several unresolved disagreements and no customary end-of-meeting press conference. 

However, in a potential sign (or not) on the trade war front, Bloomberg is now also reporting that China has “started to process applications” by Chinese companies who are requesting tariff waivers to buy pork and soy beans from the US.  Those who are claiming a trade deal is near are citing this as evidence.  However, it is worth noting that there are still quotas on how many applications and how much underlying product can have these tariffs waived.

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Friday major economic news includes Nov. Nonfarms Payroll and Nov. Unemployment Rate (both at 8:30 am).  Expectations are for a large increase in Payrolls as 50,000 GM Strikers get added back into that number this month.  Univ. of Michigan Consumer Sentiment (10 am) is also on the docket.  There are no major earnings reports Friday.

Overnight, Asian markets were all in the green.  In Europe, the major markets are mostly green (except the FTSE) at this point.  As of 7:30 am, U.S. futures are all pointing to a higher open, up 0.2% – 0.3% from Thursday’s close.

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November Payrolls and trade war tea-leaf reading are likely to drive markets Friday. Just remember that we are heading into a weekend where we cannot react to tweets or news until Monday.  So, it may be time to take some profits off the table or add some hedges.  As traders, our job is to make consistent gains and reduce risk, the market is not a lottery ticket.


Sorry, but no Trade Ideas on Friday. Trade smart, take profits along the way and trade your plan. Also, do not forget to check for upcoming earnings. Stocks we mention and talk about are not recommendations to buy or sell.

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