If you happened to catch the stock market trade, you just witnessed one of historic proportions.  At one time the big board was down 990 points.  Reports and rumors are flying around with the best one being that some trader pulled a “fat finger move”, one that was to enter a sell of 1000 shares but came across as 1000000.  Hard to tell as traders are a different breed and not bashful with what they think they know.  Stocks have recovered, now down 390 on the Dow.  Who would have thought that down 390 would be a good thing.  Let’s talk about tomorrow’s Employment Report.  Street consensus goes like this;

1)      Nonfarm Payroll – Plus 200K

2)      Unemployment Rate – 9.7%

3)      Average Hourly Earnings – Plus .1

4)      Average Workweek – 34.1

Given the data we have, standard deviation mathematics, regression analytics, and the Ouija board, we’re comfortable with the 200K number or just slightly less (say 190K).  The unpredictability here comes from the weather related rebound and the number of census worker hired, both hard to handicap.  The household survey points to a much stronger number, up 264K while the ADP estimates out yesterday point to plus 32K.  That spread is big enough to drive a truck through.  Manufacturing and Construction will also be a key with expectations that both are showing signs of improvement.  Strength in the Philly Fed Survey, Empire State Survey and IMF Manufacturing data gave us that tip.  Construction jobs took a beating with the cold weather so more spring like temperatures should show a little pent up demand and hiring in the sector.  Private sector jobs look to be flat to slightly improved and temporary jobs are still increasing, albeit at a slower pace that seen in the first quarter.  So, we’ll place our bet on plus 190K Nonfarm payrolls, 9.6% unemployment rate, and Average Hourly Earnings and Average Workweek to come in on the consensus screws.  What are others saying;

1)      JP Morgan – Plus 145K and 9.7%

2)      Credit Suisse – Plus 165K and 9.6%

3)      RBS – Plus 185K and 9.7%

4)      Wells Fargo – Plus 200K and 9.7%

5)      Barclays – Plus 200K and 9.6%

Expected reaction to an as advertised report should favor stocks and bother bonds.  Reason being is that it would mark two consecutive months of job creation with a “getting better all the time” feel.  We still need to get to 250K just to break even given attrition.  Over 250K should give stocks a lift and punish our pricing for about .25 to .50.  Anything less than 50K would hold Austin mortgage rates steady and probably put another whippin’ on stocks.  With all that is moving markets these days, only the almighty know where we’ll be this time tomorrow.  Best bet for borrowers is to lock your interest rate NOW and buckle up!  Should be a wild ride.