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Investing Specialists

The August Employment Report Jinx Continues

To put it nicely, the government's employment data for August was squirrelly, reports Morningstar's Bob Johnson.

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I think the market's mood this week was best summed up by my colleague on the Industrials Team, Adam Fleck. He said that this was really his favorite type of market. Good news is good news and bad news is good news, too. Good news is positive for the obvious reasons. Bad news means a higher probability that the Fed and other central banks are likely to take further measures to lower interest rates. This is especially true when the good news isn't off-the-charts good, and the bad news isn't a train wreck.

This week, the European Central Bank took steps that loosened monetary policy and China rolled out new infrastructure stimulus measures as economic news in both areas continued to show signs of slowing. I suspect that the Fed may follow suit at its meeting next week, following a poor manufacturing purchasing managers' report and a softer-than-expected employment report for August. (Though I don't think the employment was a disaster.)

Robert Johnson, CFA does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.