Boom! Wall Street Loses Year's Gains After Bad Jobs Reports

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Remember, most journalists don't understand the economy - but that doesn't stop them from pontificating about it.

Much handwringing and anxiety over the latest jobs report that the economy added only 69,000 jobs in March, although economists say it could be related to the "freakishly warm" weather—meaning that jobs that would ordinarily be filled in the spring were instead filled this winter. I don't know if this is representative of anywhere else, but I've had more job interviews in the past two months than I've had in the past four years. Something's changing, but damned if I know what it is:

Financial markets appear to be on recession watch already. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 200 points on Friday, giving up all of its gains for the year. It has shed nearly 9 percent since the start of May. Crude-oil prices are down 24 percent since February. The bond market is essentially warning of the End Of Days, with 10-year Treasury yields tumbling below 1.5 percent for the first time in recorded history.

In a note to clients after the report was released, Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at New York brokerage firm BTIG, said the news was bad enough to make him consider reviving a recession warning he made last October.

But in an interview with The Huffington Post, Greenhaus said he wasn't on full recession alert just yet.

"My belief is that part of this is weather related," he said. "But I'm growing increasingly worried here."

The recent slowdown in job growth, Greenhaus and other economists said, could be payback for freakishly warm winter weather, when hiring may have been stronger than usual. There's also a theory out there that the deep financial crisis in 2008 may have messed up seasonal adjustments for economic data in recent years, making winters look stronger than they really are and springs look weaker.

And the job report wasn't that bad, taken in context, Greenhaus noted. Nonfarm payroll jobs have grown by an average of 165,000 per month in the first five months of 2012, down only slightly from an average of 176,000 per month in the first five months of 2011.

Gee, if the Republicans weren't so fixated on crashing the economy to keep Obama from getting reelected (and if Obama would only stop agreeing with them and validating their "starve the government" philosophy), maybe we could fix some of these problems. (Here's how I'd like to hear Democrats talk about the economy.) But oh well!


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