The “shove it” indicator (as highlighted by CNBC) made a noteworthy gain in February, suggesting consumer confidence may be increasing. You’re probably wondering, “What in the world is the ‘shove it’ indicator?” Well, every month the government conducts a Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or “JOLTS” for short. One of the data points in the JOLTS report is the number of workers who quit their job as opposed to being laid off. And, in February, for the first time since September 2008, the quitters were in the majority.

What does this mean? Generally speaking, people who quit their job are typically more confident that there is another job waiting for them when they voluntarily leave a position. Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx Group says, “Quits go hand-in-hand with consumer confidence.”

This positive JOLTS data point follows a disappointing government jobs report for the month of March where only 120,000 new jobs were created. Also, the preliminary March reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence survey showed a decline from the previous month. Analysts had expected confidence to stay flat, according to International Business Times.

This conflicting economic data gave the bulls and the bears ample ammunition to bolster their respective case. And, conflicting data like this may lead to a continuation of the yo-yo as investors try to predict which direction the economy is headed.

Weekly Focus – Think About It

“Expectation is the root of all heartache.”

–William Shakespeare

Best regards,

Jonathan K. DeYoe

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