Employment data is top report today

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)
January 4, 2013

Non-farm payrolls will dominate today's economic calendar.

The Labor Department will release the employment numbers for December at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect an increase of 150,000, up from 146,000 a month earlier. The nation's jobless rate is expected to hold steady at 7.7 percent.

A higher payroll number might be interpreted bullishly because it would suggest that more jobs have been created. The opposite would be true for the unemployment rate because lower figures generally reflect economic strength.

At 10 a.m. ET, the Institute for Supply Management will release is index of non-manufacturing activity. Economists anticipate a reading of 53.5, down from 54.7 in November.

Purchasing manager reports will be released in Europe overnight, with Germany, France, and the Eurozone each issuing data between 2 a.m. ET and 4 a.m. ET.

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