The S&P 500 Rebounds On Disappointing Jobs Report

The April 2021 jobs report was disappointing, to say the least. Instead of reporting that at least one million Americans had returned to work in April 2021 with the lifting of state and local government lockdowns in high population states, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported number of additional working Americans rose by about one-fourth of that widely expected number. Which of course meant that stock prices rose on the disappointment!

It's somewhat counterintuitive, but stock prices rose on the much worse than expected news because it means the Federal Reserve will keep its "super-easy" monetary policies in effect for longer. Prior to the report, stock prices kept running toward the lower end of the redzone forecast range on our alternative futures chart, mainly because the expectation of rising inflation would mean the Fed would be forced to move away from its super-easy policies much sooner than they would want to rein in rapidly escalating prices.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Alternative Futures - S&P 500 - 2021Q2 - Standard Model (m=+1.5 from 22 September 2020) - Snapshot on 7 May 2021

This is also a good time to review the full forecast performance of our latest redzone forecast. Our need to provide these forecasts is driven by the dividend futures-based model's use of historic stock prices as the base reference points from which it projects future stock prices. When those historic prices involve high levels of volatility, the echo of that volatility affects the model's projections.

To get around that seeming limitation, we identify the period in which the volatility echo affects the model's projections and pick points on opposite sides of it, one before it begins and one after it ends. We then connect the dots with a straight line and draw in a red-shaded range on either side of it to reflect the amount of 'typical' volatility we expect to see.

The trick in doing all this is to pick the right starting and ending points. For the nearly-just-completed redzone forecast range, we anchored a point associated with the expectations for 2020-Q2 in the "before" range, and selected a point associated with the expectations for 2020-Q4 on the future end of the forecast range. In terms of the dividend futures-based model, we assumed investors would begin the forecast range being by focusing on the current quarter of 2021-Q2 in setting stock prices, then would shift their forward-looking focus out to the more distant future of 2021-Q4 some eleven weeks later.

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