Market Commentary 5/7/21

Interest Rates Tick Higher As April Jobs Report Disappoints

A surprisingly horrible April jobs report sent bond yields down and lifted stocks higher in early morning trading. This report caught many of us off-guard given that the economy is on fire and many businesses are starting to see a return to normal. It is unclear if this was just a one-off poor jobs report, especially given the strong numbers out of payroll giant ADP regarding the jobs recovery earlier in the week. However, some experts, including folks in the Commerce Department, are asking the powers that be to re-think the extended Covid unemployment benefits. This comes on the heels of many customer-facing businesses complaining that they are finding it hard to entice new workers, even after raising wages and offering other incentives.  

Asset inflation has been seen for quite some time, as has commodity inflation. There is no doubt that goods and services are becoming more expensive, regardless of what official data states. Consumers don’t need to look past the cost of food, gas, or housing to see that for themselves. Business owners can plainly see inflation in their cost of operations. Many businesses with competitive advantages are raising prices. CEOs of major enterprises are seeing inflation pressures that have not been felt in many years. The big question is: when does inflation become a big enough problem to cause the Fed to react. For the moment, the bunk April’s jobs report has given the Fed cover to remain ultra-dovish for longer, especially as the unemployment rate rose to 6.1%.

As the market digests this counterintuitive jobs report, real estate borrowers may have another window to look to lock in extremely accommodative long-term interest rates. Insignia Mortgage has been advocating for months to take advantage of the Fed’s desire to keep interest rates low for longer before the window closes. The pandemic will end eventually and with incredibly robust economic growth at some point, the Fed will need to taper its bond-buying and artificially suppressed normal level of interest rates. However, it looks as if this jobs report will prop open the window a bit longer.

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These are the opinions of the author. For financial advice, please talk to your CPA or financial professional.