The number of non-farm jobs that the pundits/economists/gurus/pointy heads say have been added in the U.S in the month of August is 220,000.
That is the number that will dictate the course of global markets for the immediate future.
That is also the number every trader on every trading desk around the world has on his or her mind at the moment.
A number 20,000-30,000 higher than the 220,000 more than likely should provide the U.S. Federal Reserve the trigger to lift off on interest rates at its meeting on Sept. 17.
There are some that believe that a strong jobs number could ease fears about a global slowdown, but nothing could be further from the truth. Job creation here at home has been mainly about low-paying jobs, while in the white collar world layoffs have been continuing, albeit behind the scenes.
So, if it's a nation of service sector jobs that we are talking about, the administration can break an arm patting itself on the back for a job well done.
Welcome to the U.S. Can we help you get a job at McDonalds (MCD) or Wendy's(WEN) or Jiffy Lube?
My take is that global conditions and even the situation here Stateside is not even remotely close to justifying a rate hike, but in the (feeble in my opinion) minds of Janet "Rebel" Yellen & Company they think the world and our economy are ready for a lift-off in rates.
The Fed has always claimed it does not target stock prices here at home or globally but that is and always has been its main intent.
A couple of weeks ago, I had mistakenly thought that policymakers were talking about real estate when they mentioned "asset bubbles," but it was stock prices they thought were inflated, no matter how much they scream that was not the point of reference.
I think the carnage of the last month and a half globally is not enough to make them change their current path to further global pain.