Job Report to Come out Friday; First Big Economic Report of the Year

The December jobs report’s release at 8:30 a.m. on Friday is perhaps one of the most anticipated economic releases in months. For one, it is the first big economic report of the new year and as such, it heralds what could be the first really big trading day of the year.

The other interesting twist for this report is it may be the first time the economy shows signs of job growth in more than two years. Just several weeks back, there were few economists who forecast a positive nuber, but as the report has gotten closer and more data is available, the consensus has risen, to the point where economists’ orecasts now equal a round zero – no non farm payrolls lost or gained.

“Everybody’s hlding their breath for that. It should be interesting. I can’t remember the last time when the number could be plus or minus,” said Jack Ablin, Harris Private Bank chief investment officer. Traders expect the report to add some volatility to a market that’s been fairly stagnant for the past several sessions. Ablin agrees that could be the case, and he even loaded up on the VIX, (CBOE’s volatility index) ahead of it.

Traders say a positive number could give the market a psychological boost, just as a big negative number could damage psychology. They are also watching for revisions of past months.

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