We're less than an hour out from the most exciting economic data day of the month—the BLS nonfarm payrolls report.
I think the optimism of last winter is totally dead by now. Nobody's expecting the kind of number that would be consistent with an accelerating recovery. Instead we're looking to see if chaos in the eurozone and the slowdown in the BRICs is showing signs of pushing the American labor market into the danger zone. Any number above 140,000 or so would be consistent with continued (albeit slow) improvement in the U.S. labor market and thus would have to be taken with a sigh of relief considering problems elsewhere.
But as always, remember to watch for the revisions. The new May numbers will be more exciting than the first revision of the April numbers and the second revision of the March numbers, but considerably less accurate. If you want to know what's going on, you need the best data not just the quickest. So here's hoping for upward revisions.
TODAY IN SLATE
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An All-Female Mission to Mars
As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.