Mitchell O. Goldberg of ClientFirst Strategy picked up on something interesting vis a vis the election this fall and how a small amount of data could move the chains if the race is close come the polls...
While perusing the Department of Labor's website, http://www.bls.gov/schedule/news_release/2012_sched.htm, looking for undiscovered clues regarding the direction of the economy, I decided what the 3 most important stats are that, in my opinion, will be equally critical to both President Obama and to Governor Romney come next November.
Here they are:
1. Friday, September 7, 2012 - Monthly Employment Report for August.
2. Friday, October 5, 2012 - Monthly Employment Report for September.
3. Friday, November 2, 2012 - monthly Employment Report For October.
Did you notice that item #3 is just 4 days before the big Election on November 6th ? I believe this is significant. After all, the grandest of stats is the monthly labor report; it is the one investment managers, consumers, and politicians alike focus on the most.
In the barrage of economic statistics, headline numbers move quickly from the top of the screen to the bottom and are usually off completely before the end of the day. The term "RECENCY" means that investors and, by extension, people in general tend to focus on only the most recent stats. For example, no one talks anymore about how the 3 monthly employment reports from December '11, January '12 and February '12 showed that over 200,000 jobs were generated each month in the U.S. economy; old news!
Regarding the above 3 labor reports coming out later this year, it will be the trend (upward or downward) and the overall numeric results that may very well be all that we need to know for the November election. Everything else leading up to those stats is just for fun. Or maybe I need to read a novel instead of the U.S. Dept. of Labor website.