Happy Jobs Day! Ed’s Daily Notes for April 4th   1 comment

unemployed-lol-cat4(hat tip to Funny Someday for the pic)

Here is what to expect from today’s U.S. Employment Report for March, coming out at 8:30 am EST (estimates from Bloomberg):

Nonfarm Payrolls – M/M change: Prior +175,000 jobs, Consensus Estimate +206,000 jobs, Consensus Range +175,000 to +275,000 jobs
Unemployment Rate – Level: Prior 6.7%, Consensus Estimate 6.6%, Consensus Range 6.6% to 6.7%
Average Hourly Earnings – M/M change: Prior +0.4%, Consensus Estimate +0.2%, Consensus Range 0.0% to +0.4%
Average Workweek – All Employees: Prior 34.2 hours, Consensus Estimate 34.4 hours, Consensus Range 34.3 hours to 34.5 hours

The number I am curious about is that average workweek. The last number was a huge disappointment, as you can tell by how the estimates for this one are all above the prior number. I call this the “Obamacare effect”. If employees keep having their work hours cut, it will have an economic impact, regardless of the total jobs number. If the average workweek comes in at 34.2 or less, be afraid, because this will become a drag on the economy in the coming months.

From a “what will the Federal Reserve do?” perspective, watch the unemployment rate and the non-farm payrolls number. If these numbers improve, it only puts us closer to increasing rates, even if the jobs created are part-time. Remember, the Fed’s directives are inflation and employment. They aren’t tasked with “quality of jobs”, regardless of the economic impact. This is where the disconnect between the Fed and the economy are most likely to appear. Whether the markets pick up on this remains to be seen.

Business Week: The Pow! Bang! Bam! Plan to Save Marvel, Starring B-List Heroes

If you want to understand why I consider Disney (DIS) a must-own stock, read the article above about their Marvel subsidiary. It shows how good Disney is at handling their intellectual properties, but also shows how Marvel is executing their own plan to perfection.

I will add that I recently became a Marvel Unlimited subscriber, which allows me access to nearly their entire catalog of comic books. Yes, I have been reading comic books online, but I must admit to being surprised at the quality of both the art and especially the story lines. Comic books have grown up since I was a kid. It isn’t much of a stretch for me to imagine many of these stories making great movies. Disney bought a gold mine when they bought Marvel, and we are only seeing the beginning of it. The Avengers was just a taste of things to come.

One other thing to consider: Even if they make a Marvel movie that bombs (i.e. Elecktra), the Marvel well is deep. They can go back to the well for decades into the future and not run out of new material. Considering Kevin Feige (president of Marvel Studios) is only 40, Marvel is in good hands for a long time to come.

Wall Street Journal: A Catastrophe Like No Other

One thing I have always admired about Peggy Noonan is her ability to cut right through an issue to it’s core. Her editorial above about Obamacare does exactly that. It is the must-read of the day.

One response to “Happy Jobs Day! Ed’s Daily Notes for April 4th

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  1. Ed, as a pure boots on the street view, construction in my area is going nuts and work hours are increasing. It is getting more hectic and hiring is strong. That is just one field in one area, but I would bet that work weeks are stronger here than they were in December.

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