It's been a rough week for stocks. The S&P 500 is down four days in a row. Today's decline pulls the S&P 500 under what should have been support near 1340. Are investors running scared and worried about the jobs data tomorrow? The last several weeks have seen a string of gains in the weekly initial jobless reports. This would suggest that job growth has stalled or is losing momentum. The ADP employment report on Wednesday failed to alleviate these fears.
Economists are expecting the April non-farm payrolls report to come in at +185,000 versus the prior month's +216,000. Yet given the trend in weekly initial jobless claims there is a chance that Friday's jobs number will be a disappointment. Normally that would be a recipe for big declines in the stock market but the market didn't react the last time the jobs report was a miss. Since we've seen the trend in weekly jobless claims is anyone going to be surprised to see a miss? If that's the case could the market actually rally tomorrow?
There is a lot of uncertainty over the jobs data tomorrow and there is the potential for this report to spark an increase in volatility. I am not adding new plays tonight. We'll wait and watch how the market reacts to the economic data Friday morning.