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Two Ways to Play: Positive Preview of Job Numbers


Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.

Job Numbers Preview

We'll get official job numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics tomorrow morning, but there are encouraging signs from the Monster Employment Index.

This index, which is a monthly analysis of US online job demand conducted by Monster Worldwide (MWW), rose sharply in February by 10 points to 124 from 114 in January.

Some of the gains might be attributed to seasonality, according to Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer of the company, but "a rise in hiring for sectors like manufacturing, transportation, and wholesale trade offers an encouraging sign of increased investment and business activity."

From the Bull Pen: If you want to get a hint of the purchasing power of the consumer, keep an eye on Carnival Coporation (CCL), which recently hit a new high. For a trade, Aeropostale (ARO) may be an upside opportunity. A tight sell stop can be set near $33-$34.

From the Bear Cave: Bears can keep an eye on Goldman Sachs (GS). The weekly chart shows a toppy head-and-shoulders pattern with the stock rising on low volume. Those playing the downside can set a buy stop near $160 or $165 (also the 20-DMA) depending on your risk profile.

For more ways to play and other trading ideas from more than 30 top market pros, take a free trial to our Buzz & Banter.

A Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Nikkei -1.05%, India -0.17%, Hang Seng -1.44%, Shanghai -2.38%, and Taiwan -0.78%.

Across the pond, we see the FTSE 0.02%, CAC -0.08%, DAX -0.36%

As of 8:30 AM EST, S&P Futures are trading +00.50 to 1119.00. Nasdaq futures are -00.25 to 1851.75.

A Look at Commodities

Over in commodities, crude oil is -0.14 to 80.77 while gold is -4.700 to 1138.20 this morning. Silver is -0.014 to 17.320 and copper -0.0175 to 3.4155.

The dollar Index is +0.1850 to 80.2050.

On the Radar


Initial Claims 469K vs 470K consensus, prior revised to 498K from 496K
Continuing Claims fell to 4.500 mln from 4.634 mln
Q4 Nonfarm Productivity- Final 6.9% vs 6.3% consensus, prior 6.2%; Q4 Unit Labor Cost- final -5.9% vs -4.5% consensus, prior -4.4%

10:00 Factory Orders 1.2% cons.
10:00 Pending Home Sales 1.7% cons.

Click here for the full trading radar.

Thirsty Thursday! Good luck!
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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