As per comment on the prior post, there are still no hovering spacecraft over downtown Manhattan. But there is an item of data being greeted today as though it fell off one of them. US unemployment sits at 5.5%.

Of course, on recent form equities may go back to living the fine Ari Gold management rule that 'Bad news is not news'. Until today optimists drew comfort from the security blanket of older data showing consumer spending holding up despite a nightmarish housing market. ‘Weathering’ has been a key word used to describe what markets were perceived to be doing during the storm. And already, on this latest data, voices (including, worryingly, the statmeisters themselves at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics) are talking about how tough it is to seasonally adjust the May numbers - ie it's too big. Hmm. So is it noise or signal? Maybe the optimists have a point.

Or not. Some will not want to discount the bullshit factor the noise view might be shovelling: the notion that unwinding may simply take more time than optimistic churn traders plan for somewhat undermines the ‘weathering’ crutch.

UPDATE:
Barry Ritholtz seems, with some assistance, to have got to the bottom of it.

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