The Cost of Pretending on the Rise

 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!


  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
Posted in Quick Quill.