Coronavirus risk is lurking, but if the US economy’s vulnerable it’s not obvious in today’s payrolls report for February. Hiring by American firms remained strong last month: private payrolls increased 228,000, the Labor Department reports. The gain is near the best increase in recent history and lifted the one-year trend to a 13-month high.
The relatively high and positive yields in US government bonds have been an outlier in global markets, but coronavirus blowback appears on track to wipe away that spread (or at least make a hefty dent). Rates are still positive across the Treasury curve in early trading on Friday (Mar. 6), but downside momentum rolls on and as the global risk-off trade accelerates the prospect of below-zero yields in US is becoming increasingly plausible at some point in the near future.
Global coronavirus cases nears 100,000: NY Times
Cruise ship in limbo off Calif. coast awaits coronavirus results: CNN
Russia and Turkey announce deal to end attacks in Syria: NY Times
OPEC seeks large cut in oil production to deal with coronavirus: Reuters
Bonds and gold rally as stocks sink as risk-off trade resumes: WSJ
Announced job cuts in US fell 16% in Feb. from previous month: CG&C
US jobless claims remain low–no sign yet of coronavirus impact: MW
US factory orders dropped more than expected in January: Reuters
10-yr Treasury yield falls under 0.8% in early Friday trading–a record low: