QUICK QUILL — What the bond market and we thought we were on to has been revealed. From here on out, it’s just a matter of who feels lucky enough to maintain their ‘soft landing’ positioning up to the last moment the dumb money catches on. May the most nimble trader win!
- Despite ISM Mfg New Orders popping in January, Backlogs fell further into contraction to 44.7; at the same time, just 4 of 18 Mfg subsectors reported growth and Mfg Employment slid to 46.3 vs. December’s 46.8, providing further validation of New Orders’ head fake
- At 2.19 million, continuing jobless claims have now reached levels last seen in 2019 as the economy was heading into recession; meanwhile, Challenger, Gray, & Christmas reported just 5,376 hiring announcements last month, the lowest January total in data back to 2005
- Since 2010, unit labor cost inflation has remained stubbornly positive but took a steep downward turn in 2023’s second half; with Conference Board CEO Expectations for their Own Industry muted at best, a faster pace of labor cost-cutting appears likely for 2024