U.S. employment rose less than expected in October, but a drop in the jobless rate to a six-month low of 9.0 percent and upward revisions to prior months' job gains pointed to underlying strength in the labor market.
ALAN RUSKIN, GLOBAL HEAD OF G10 FX STRATEGY, DEUTSCHE BANK, NEW YORK
Overall the data at a minimum confirms there has been no slippage in growth momentum, and at the margin, there may be some improvement, not least given the gap between the household and establishment survey. The latest data is strong enough that it will kill off thoughts of a QE3 Christmas present for global markets, even if a dovish Bernanke-Yellen-Dudley triumvirate will have left hopes alive for the first half of 2012 on any loss of momentum.
KARL SCHAMOTTA, SENIOR STRATEGIST, WESTERN UNION BUSINESS SOLUTIONS, CALGARY
I think it's a sign of a more robust economy than we've been giving it credit for. Some of the underlying fundamentals are fairly strong. It's not a fantastic recovery, but it's good given what's going on globally. The reality here, though, is that prices will depend on what happens in Europe. Traders are giving up on a single headline coming out that will turn the tide. This is complex and trading will be very nuanced. You need to be extremely cautious playing the euro right now. This benefits the U.S. dollar, which acts as safety valve.
PETER CARDILLO, CHIEF MARKET ECONOMIST AT ROCKWELL GLOBAL CAPITAL, NEW YORK
The data was in line with expectations and it's going to be a nonevent. This is part of a modest economic growth in general and one good thing is that, we are not worsening.
The market will closely watch the G20, to see what the leaders will be doing to stop the contagion from spreading. As far as Greece is concerned, the news changes by the minute. It's difficult for the market to predict a move.
NICK BENNENBROEK, HEAD OF CURRENCY STRATEGY, WELLS FARGO, NEW YORK
The headline number was clearly a slight disappointment, but when you delve it a bit deeper and look at the other elements of the report, I think this is probably consistent with some of the recent data which points to moderate improvement in U.S. economic activity.
TODD SCHOENBERGER, MANAGING DIRECTOR AT LANDCOLT TRADING IN WILMINGTON, DELAWARE
Today's report should be welcome relief in a week of earth-moving headlines out of Europe. The headline number is disappointing, but the revisions and the drop in U6 is really good news for the fragile jobs market. The question remaining is consistency. The recent macro data, and the dip below 400,000 in jobless claims warrants much-deserved optimism. Traders should cheer this report.
ERIC GREEN, CHIEF ECONOMIST AND HEAD OF INTEREST RATE STRATEGY, TD SECURITIES, NEW YORK
This jobs report is very good. It was disappointing on the headline but the upward revisions were very substantial, 102,000 over the last two months, so while private jobs disappointed by about 20,000 the net revisions more than make up for that. Also you have a drop in the unemployment rate that was better than expected, and was driven by job growth in the household survey, which was the third consecutive month of extremely robust job growth on the household survey.
We are well off the pace of the summer doldrums, we have not moved substantially higher to the point that we are really comfortable that we can sustain a lower unemployment rate, but the underlying guts of this report and the trend improvement you've seen in the household survey gives us more optimism and we consider this to be a very solid report.
MARY NICOLA, CURRENCY STRATEGIST, BNP PARIBAS, NEW YORK
Even though we only got 80,000 new jobs when we were expecting 95,000, the revisions are pretty important. It will be viewed as a good number because of that and because the unemployment rate went down and we did not see a decline in the participation rate. It should be taken as risk-positive, which is good for the euro. We still think there could be some Fed easing early next year. I don't think that is contingent, for example, on payrolls going to zero. (The Fed) expects the unemployment rate to stay high and unemployment is part of their mandate.
JOHN CANALLY, ECONOMIC STRATEGIST, LPL FINANCIAL, NEW YORK
It's not a game-changer but when you take into account the upward revision to prior months and the drop in the unemployment rate, it's a step in the right direction. It's about in line with the growth you're seeing in the economy but it's not enough to break us out of the range we're in.
The whisper number was a little bit higher than the printed consensus. Treasuries are selling off because of the upward revisions to the prior months and the drop in the unemployment rate.
The Fed is on hold for a while, and will be encouraged by this but they need to see -- for the unemployment rate to match their forecast you need to see a couple of hundred thousand jobs created per month for a couple of years.
PATRICK O'KEEFE, DIRECTOR OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH AT J.H. COHN IN NEW YORK
Significantly below consensus, and I was actually expecting something better than consensus, so this is another disappointing month. That it is this small at this point in the recovery is an indication that this is a recovery of turtles, not a recovery of greyhounds.
STOCKS: U.S. stock index futures turn positive
BONDS: U.S. Treasury debt prices fall
FOREX: The dollar extends losses vs euro