Treasuries, which surged this morning on weaker-than-expected Nonfarm Payroll report, held their gains to finish stronger. Payrolls rose 1,000, and the prior month's gain was revised lower to a gain of just 43,000. Even retail jobs shed 38,000 in December.
Still. traders and analysts digested the payrolls data with a grain of salt. Some feel the weekly initial jobless claims reports, which have been declining steadily for weeks, are a better reflection of the jobs picture. They note the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.7%, from 5.9%. Also, Miller Tabak's Tony Crescenzi argues it would be a mistake for investors to ignore the near 15-year high in the Institute for Supply Management's "employment component."
Any efforts by Asian banks to buy dollars and sell yen will support Treasuries, since that is where the banks will likely park these dollars.
The week ahead offers additional PPI and CPI data. Traders also await next Thursday's jobless claims.