Some pretty big bets may be riding on this Friday's employment report coming in stronger than expected, which would mean an increase north of 125,000 on payrolls.
Apparently it's this expectation of a brisker jobs increase that helped boost the dollar and slam the euro yesterday, and continues to be felt in the currency market today. (For the euro, some weaker-than-expected news on the eurozone economy also said to play a part yesterday.)
So what's driving traders to lean toward a bigger jobs jump?
For one, the purchasing managers or Institute of Supply Management survey of manufacturing on Monday showed more employers in February saying they plan to hire workers. In fact, the reading on jobs was the highest since 1987!
One caveat here: this survey doesn't ask how many workers will be hired or exactly when so the correlation between actual manufacturing jobs gains and the survey in any given month is not necessarily tight.
This is important though because factory jobs have fallen for 3-1/2 years now. A turnaround after so many losses would not be so surprising, especially with orders and output on the rise.
Beyond that the Challenger layoffs numbers came down in February. And federal tax receipts also point to better jobs growth, this according to the economists at Deutschebank.
So, it all looks good.
But so far it's a forecast and a bet, not a fact. And if jobs don't exceed expectations, the optimists may find that as March gets underway, they are still skating on thin ice.
Kathleen Hays anchors CNN Money Morning and The FlipSide, airing Monday to Friday on CNNfn. As part of CNN's Business News team, she also contributes to Lou Dobbs Tonight.