There is loads of economic data coming out every day that can have a tremendous effect on the markets. Non farm payrolls is a big data point, but so is data coming from the rest of the US government, like consumer confidence indexes and explanations of defense spending. The US is a massive governmental entity that can have a huge effect on the global economy, in many ways you might not expect.
First, take a look at what economics actually is. The freshman college course that you might have slept through for much of second semester actually had a lot to teach you. Economics deals with choice. It purports to deal with rational human behavior in a world where there is scarce resources. How do we get what we want when our choices always have to have a trade-off.
Economics takes into account the way that corporations invest throughout the world, how business pay their employees and how consumers spend their money. In a world that is governed more and more by capitalism, it makes sense to pay attention to the way that all this activity affects people. And the markets.
One of the largest info bombs that hits the global economy each month is the United States report on non farms payrolls. Sometimes the most effective piece of inof is the number of jobs added to the US economy added each month. That small bit of data can have an effect on the S&P 500, the confidence of consumers spending throughout the country and how foreign investors see the world. All of that can have a major effect on global markets.
Also released with non farm payrolls is the U.S. unemployment rate. That metric is very important in determining the psychological health of the US economy. And the US economy has an outsized effect on the rest of the world. Economic indicators in Europe and Asia have a large effect on the global markets as well, but the US is the most powerful government in the world and the largest economy in the world. So the machinations and changes within the economic fortunes of its citizens are vastly important to traders and global market watchers.
Sometimes analysts are bullish about non-farm payrolls and they tend to think that more jobs will be created. Many times, they are wrong and the market corrects itself. Sometimes the non farms payrolls will outperform expectations and the market will respond accordingly. Either way, there are opportunities for traders to make money on these moves.
Following economic data points is important for any investor because you can really get yourself an education about how the world works when you spend time looking at where the money goes. It can help you make decisions about where to put your money and where to get good at trading. Trading can also flourish off the release of economic data like non farm payrolls because savvy traders know which stocks or commodities will spike or fall based on the data that comes out.
That knowledge comes along with watching the market closely. When you pay attention to economic data then you can grasp a global picture of the market and how it might affect your world. That will give indicators and trends that you can follow as you trade stocks, bonds, commodities or futures. Really any kind of trading or investing can benefit from watching and understanding global economic data.
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James Hendrickson is an internet entrepreneur, blogging junky, hunter and personal finance geek. When he’s not lurking in coffee shops in Portland, Oregon, you’ll find him in the Pacific Northwest’s great outdoors. James has a masters degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Bachelors degree on Sociology from Earlham College. He loves individual stocks, bonds and precious metals.