Back during the days of the dot-com bust, it seemed that every bad employment report goosed the market, because investors took heart that the Fed would continue lowering interest rates.
What's it going to be this time?
U.S. payrolls declined for the first time in four years in August, shedding 4,000 jobs, according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The construction and manufacturing sectors took the biggest hits, and previous gains recorded in June and July were sharply adjusted down.
The news comes on the heels of Wednesday's report that the Federal Reserve Bank's "beige book" had declared the U.S. economy to be doing just fine, with the credit crunch having only a "limited" impact on the wider economy.
The Wall Street Journal says that the markets are set to decline at the outset of trading. If this holds true, that's a very glum sign. If the prospect of lowered inflationary pressures and a Fed rate cut next week can't cheer up the markets, then we should all be frowning.