U.S. job growth accelerated more than expected in July as private employers stepped up hiring, a development that could ease fears the economy was sliding into a fresh recession.
GENNADIY GOLDBERG, FIXED INCOME ANALYST, 4CAST INC., NEW YORK
In the broader scheme of things it's really not quite as stunningly high as we would hope for but it's definitely a positive surprise. The positive revisions to last month are also a good thing.
We would have to see a few months of job gains at a higher level than this to correct the trend higher.
Right now Treasuries are just chopping around, which is quite interesting. They predictably fell right after the release but they're reluctant to fall too much because the trend is still weaker.
The Fed will probably comment on recent developments but they normally don't get very excited about one data print. Maybe they will use it to justify the idea that things aren't as bad as the market thinks.
MICHAEL GAPEN, SENIOR U.S. ECONOMIST, BARCLAYS CAPITAL, NEW YORK
I wouldn't say that (a double dip recession) is totally off the table but it's a much better number than the market had priced in. It's a number that is likely to give policymakers some comfort that the poorest months were May and June.
It likely means that the fed doesn't take action next week. It doesn't allow us to totally turn the corner and put all of this behind us but it's a much better than expected number.
MICHAEL MARRALE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, AND HEAD OF SALES TRADING AT RBC CAPITAL MARKETS IN NEW YORK
Doesn't solve anything. View it more as a selling opportunity rather than a reason to get back involved on the long side. The prior revision up is encouraging but at the end of the day, we are coming off the back of last Friday's weak GDP number, Monday's ISM report and we are starting to hear some company commentary that we may be heading into or already be in a recession.
We did trade as low as 1182 on the S&P futures overnight, the futures coming back were a function of not only concern that the number would be OK, but also some concern on behalf of the shorts that the ECB could make an announcement over the weekend, which would rally the markets. So in the futures markets there has definitely been some short covering ahead of the number and ahead of the weekend.
ERIC STEIN, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, EATON VANCE, BOSTON
It's definitely stronger than expected. It's not robust by any stretch of the imagination, but compared to a market that was nervous beforehand it's a relief. In the context of a normal recovery it's not a strong number, but in the context of the fear that's been permeating the market it's not a terrible number.
JAY FEUERSTEIN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER OF 2100 XENON GROUP IN CHICAGO
These are pretty good numbers. Revision is up and it is stronger than expected across the board. I don't think this is enough to bring us out of a slowdown, but these are not recessionary numbers.
In the short run, markets will react positively, but then it will become about the forward perception. How will they be going forward? How will recent events impact next month's read?
DAVID SLOAN, ECONOMIST, IFR ECONOMICS, A UNIT OF THOMSON REUTERS
July's payrolls should provide a sigh of relief to those fearing a move back into recession. The 117k increase is not dramatically above expectations for a rise of 85k, but it contained upward revisions to the two preceding months, a fall in unemployment to 9.1% from 9.2% which was expected to be unchanged, and a 0.4% rise in average hourly earnings that was significantly above a 0.2% consensus. The data suggests the economy, while far from strong, is going to see some improvement from the weak pace seen in the first half of the year.