NEWSFLASH: Today's jobs report, with payroll employment increasing by 242,000 in February and the unemployment rate steady at 4.9%, isn't as rosy as the media or Wall Street is painting it.
"Anything sub-270K in February = further slowing in employment growth (Feb = hardest comp of the cycle)," Hedgeye US Macro analyst Christian Drake wrote this morning. And, as Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough points out, the rate of change peak in non-farm payroll growth peaked in February of last year at 2.34% year-over-year.
Today's print? 1.9%
Here's the key chart (click to enlarge)
... And a more granular breakdown (click to enlarge):
Why is this bad for the stock market? "This will keep the Fed hawkish and make it more likely that they continue to hike into an economic slowdown," McCullough reiterated on The Macro Show this morning.
Bottom line: If the Fed continues to hike rates into an economic slowdown, it's going to get ugly. That's the real risk right now.