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Stock Traders Fed Up With Torpor May Not Like August Jobs Jolt

  • 15 of 19 past Augusts have seen payrolls trailing estimates
  • S&P 500 in 1.5% range for 36 days, tightest trading since 1964
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What Jobs Number Could Trigger a Fed Rate Hike?

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If you’re a trader who’s been fed up with U.S. stocks doing nothing for weeks, Friday’s payrolls report may be the solution.

In short, August employment reports are usually bad, and that’s normally bad news for equities. Since 1996, 15 out of 19 releases have trailed economists’ estimates, data compiled by Bloomberg show. When they did, the S&P 500 Index fell an average 0.4 percent, compared with an average increase of 0.1 percent for all payrolls days.