Well, well, well. All week long, anxiety on several fronts had suppressed optimism and rates, but news of faltering job creation in March has produced a case of the quaking bejabbers.
Four weeks ago the 10-year T-note traded above 2.05 percent, presumably headed moonward, today 1.69 percent. The mortgage move has been smaller, but fears of 4 percent-plus have been replaced by hopes for 3.5 percent.
The stock-market guys joined by housing boosters had talked themselves into a sustainable flow of 250,000 new jobs each month, and the Fed nearing the QE exit. The 88,000 jobs reported today for March were half the forecast, but these forecasts are notoriously useless, and the error range in the report is as wide as the miss itself.
Those two fell-better thoughts cannot offset the worry that the good numbers last winter were the error, and this March report is the real deal. The Economic Cycle Research Institute’s Lakshman Achuthan has taken a fearsome beating for a recession call 16 months ago and published a defense last month — which predicted exactly today’s pattern: a yo-yo economy not really going anywhere. The Fed and some others fear a yo.