Instant View: Private sector adds 201,000 jobs in March

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. private employers added 201,000 jobs in March, while February’s figure was revised down slightly, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

KEY POINTS:

* The data was largely in line with expectations. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP Employer Services report would show a gain of 203,000 jobs. * February’s figure was revised down to 208,000. It was originally reported as 217,000.

COMMENTS:

JOHN BRADY, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AT MF GLOBAL IN CHICAGO:

“Pretty much as expected. I think it’s going to be attempted by some to show booming employment growth. I’m probably a little bit more modest in my figuring.”

JOHN CANALLY INVESTMENT STRATEGIST AND ECONOMIST FOR LPL FINANCIAL IN BOSTON:

“The last couple of months the market has kind of lost confidence in that thing, it’s kind of been all over the map. Since it went to the claims part of it, where they used to just do it with their data and now they added claims in, the market has lost even more.

“So in December and January it kind of overstated the gains in employment, in March it was kind of close. At 200,000 or so, that number is not enough to excite the market one way or the other if it indeed happens to be the number for payrolls on Friday.”

“You need well below that to get people worried about a double-dip and well above that to get people to worried that the Fed is going to tighten. So that 200,000 number and a range probably between 100,000 to 250,000 is probably that comfort zone where you don’t have to worry about a double-dip and don’t have to worry about the Fed. So it’s kind of more of the same on the job market, you are adding jobs but not enough to push the unemployment rate down but not enough to get the Fed’s attention.

“The ADP in general has kind of lost some credibility in recent months. It could get it back again, but the attention is quickly going to turn to Friday’s number. I don’t expect people to change their estimates on Friday’s number too much based on this.”

DAVID KATZ, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER AT MATRIX ASSET ADVISORS IN NEW YORK:

“Basically the number was very much in line with expectations and shows that the labor recovery continues at a reasonable pace. Because it was expected, there’s no major reaction in futures. It looks like the U.S. economic recovery continues, and the improving labor market should be a buffer against weak areas like real estate.”

DAVID ADER, HEAD OF GOVERNMENT BOND STRATEGY, CRT CAPITAL, STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT:

“The bond market is firmer post this release, 10s by 1 bp, 5s are outperforming but there’s really no drama and certainly no a function of ADP unless, as we doubt it, that the consistency with the forecast implies the market feared a stronger number and so gets some relief.

“We referenced that ADP has been overforecasting NFP by about 8k on a 6-mo MA basis (but very choppy) so this simple-minded view suggests a private NFP gain closer to 193K. It’s not the thing supporting the market now and more an afterthought.”

MARKET REACTION:

STOCKS: U.S. stock index futures hold steady at higher levels.

BONDS: U.S. Treasury bond prices rise.

FOREX: The dollar trims gains versus euro.

Instant View: Private sector adds 201,000 jobs in March