Dealers were true to their word Friday after warning yesterday that they would fade any rally into payrolls. The data marginally bettered expectations of declining carnage in the sector, underscoring economic recovery hopes and undermining support for Treasuries. Headline December payrolls proved better than expected (-123K vs -170K median), but back revisions balanced that out, leaving the data mostly in line with expectations that the worst of the recession has past. The unemployment rate stabilized at 5.8%.
Moreover, ISM's (NAPM) services index climbed again to 54.2 from 51.3, which stoked up the stock market and added to the technical and fundamental meltdown on Treasuries.
Late pre-weekend profit taking in stocks provided the only saving grace, allowing the March bond to bubble back up above par to 100-7/32 to close -10/32 after steep early losses to lows of 99-10 (a 1-point loss). Odds of a Fed cut in late January shrank to 16% from the 20-25% area.