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Jobs report, manufacturing data — What to know in the week ahead

Heidi Chung

Economic data this week will play a crucial role in determining the Fed’s next move on December 11. Two big economic reports will be on investor’s radars this week — the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing survey and the November employment report.

November’s ISM manufacturing report is scheduled to be released shortly after the market open Monday. After a few months of being in contractionary territory, most economists do not expect the ISM manufacturing index to deteriorate further so long as the trade war does escalate further.

“Regional surveys have broadly improved, and we expect headline ISM to recover above 50 in the next few months. Despite some recovery, we do not expect manufacturing surveys to pick up robustly,” Credit Suisse wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. “Profits growth has slowed, global growth has been sluggish, and trade uncertainty is likely to linger even if US-China negotiations yield a tentative deal.”

Capital Economics echoed Credit Suisse’s sentiment. “Helped by the pause in trade tensions, global conditions appear to be stabilizing, the dollar has been broadly stable in trade-weighted terms, and the drop in interest rates is starting to feed through. Putting that all together, we expect the ISM manufacturing index to rebound to 50.0 in November, from 48.3. That would be a sign that manufacturing output is not falling off a cliff. But we don’t expect it to mark the beginning of a game-changing recovery, either, with manufacturing conditions likely to remain subdued in 2020.”

Economists at Wells Fargo explained the importance of the ongoing trade war, and how if there is no significant escalation into next year, manufacturing could start to improve modestly. However, the firm noted that a return to pre-trade war highs in the index would be unlikely.

A "Now Hiring!" sign is seen in front of a Speedway gas station in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Friday, investors will get another read on the health of the U.S. labor market when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the November employment report. Economists polled by Bloomberg expect the economy to have added 190,000 jobs during the month, up from the 128,000 payrolls added in October. The unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 3.6% and near five-decade lows.

Even as the General Motors (GM) strike resulted in a 45,000 decrease in auto jobs, October’s reading surprised to the upside. The labor market is expected to have remained solid during November.

“The job market in the United States remains quite strong, though more than 10 years into this expansion, it is starting to show its age. The U.S. added over 200K jobs each month in 2017 and 2018, on average. In 2019, that average monthly growth rate slowed to 167K,” Wells Fargo said in a note Wednesday. “After adding just 128K jobs in October, some improvement is expected in November. A faster pace of job growth would offer some assurance to the Fed and the markets that the economy really is in ‘a good place’ after all.”

Meanwhile, Credit Suisse anticipates that wage growth is likely to pick up after a disappointing two-month stretch. “We expect average hourly earnings to rise 0.3% MoM in November after averaging just 12bp of monthly growth in September and October. This would keep the YoY growth rate unchanged at 3.0%. A tight labor market is putting some upward pressure on wages, but in the medium term, we expect this to be offset by sluggish nominal GDP growth and weak productivity, leading to sideways wage growth around the current 3.0%-range.”

Economic calendar

Monday: Markit U.S. Manufacturing PMI, November final (52.2 expected, 52.2 prior); ISM Manufacturing, November (49.2 expected, 48.3 in October); ISM Prices Paid, November (47.0 expected, 45.5 in October); Construction Spending month-on-month, October (0.4% expected, 0.5% in September)

Tuesday: Wards Total Vehicle Sales, November (16.80 million expected, 16.55 million in October)

Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Applications, week ended November 29 (1.5% prior); ADP Employment Change, November (140,000 expected, 125,000 in October); Markit U.S. Services PMI, November final (51.6 expected, 51.6 prior); Markit U.S. Composite PMI, November final (51.9 prior); ISM Non-Manufacturing Index, November (54.5 expected, 54.7 in October)

Thursday: Initial Jobless Claims, November 30 (215,000 expected, 213,000 prior); Continuing Claims, week ended November 23 (1.661 million expected, 1.640 prior); Trade Balance, October (-$48.7 billion expected, -$52.5 billion in September); Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, week ended December 1 (60.5 prior); Factory Orders, October (0.3% expected, -0.6% in September); Durable Goods Orders, October final (0.6% prior); Durables excluding Transportation, October final (0.6% prior); Capital Goods Orders Nondefense excluding Air, October final (1.2% prior)

Friday: Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, November (190,000 expected, 128,000 in October); Unemployment rate, November (3.6% expected, 3.6% in October); Average Hourly Earnings month-on-month, November (0.3% expected, 0.2% in October); Wholesale Inventories month-on-month, October final (0.2% expected, 0.2% prior); University of Michigan Sentiment, December preliminary (97.0 expected, 96.8 prior)

Earnings calendar

Monday: N/A

Tuesday: Salesforce.com (CRM), Workday (WDAY) after market close

Wednesday: Campbell Soup Company (CPB) before market open; Slack (WORK), RH (RH) after market close

Thursday: Dollar General (DG), Tiffany & Co (TIF), Kroger (KR) before market open; Ulta (ULTA), Zoom Video Communications (ZM) after market close

Friday: N/A

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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