The thing about mixed signals is, they have a tendency to produce mixed reactions. Which goes for stock markets, too, especially now when even central bankers decided to throw forward guidance out the window and vowed to respond to seemingly ever-changing indicators. Investors who\’re looking at long-term trends might be frustrated by this, however they still have to pay attention.
A case in point is what happened in U.S. markets on Monday. Investors didn\’t get a chance to respond to poor U.S. jobs data released late a week ago, owing to the Good Friday holiday, but before markets opened on Monday it looked like a bad session coming up. The markets opened down, as job growth for March came in well below estimates, however New York Reserve Chair William Dudley released comments suggesting the weakish jobs numbers might place the U.S. Federal Reserve in a more dovish stance, perhaps pushing the long-awaited interest rate hike to the fall or even later. The S&P 500, which in fact had fallen in early trading, rebounded.
Now, this wasn\’t a huge move. But it\’s indicative of the peripatetic nature of markets as well as their readings on data these days. And it\’s also a lesson for the rest of us, to not read too much into data as it appears.