By Lina Martinez

A lot is happening in the markets this week. Today was consumer spending, pending home sales and the Dallas Fed. There will also be the S&P Case – Schiller Home Price Index and a speech by Janet Yellen on Tuesday, Jobless Claims on Thursday and the Jobs Report and PMI Manufacturing Index on Friday. Well, there is actually a ton more going on but this is zenruption and we like to keep is simple. Actually, we won’t even say much on most of those reports.

Let’s hit the most important thing first. The Tesla symbol (TSLA) Model 3 is unveiled on Thursday! We, and everyone else, are expecting a lot. If the design is even marginally Tesla edgy and if even a small part of Model S tech is in that $35,000 car, it will be a hit. Our previous prediction for a 30% upside on Tesla stock could become closer to realization. Granted the unveiling should already be priced into the stock price, but zenruption takes the position that Elon Musk knows how to create a spectacle and surprise. We guarantee you that isn’t yet built into the price.

A quick recap of today showed that home sales continued to be very strong but that consumers are still cautious, only increasing their spending by 0.1% in February and January was revised down from 0.5% to 0.1%. Savings rates continue to trend up as the U.S. consumer continues to pocket the savings from cheap gas prices and the wage gains they have experienced over the last year. Accounting for 70% of GDP, the tepid consumer continues to be a drag on hitting meaningful economic growth in the United States.

The big deal coming up is the Employment Report. The Wall Street consensus is for growth of 210,000 jobs in March and wage growth of 0.2%. A strong employment report could give the Federal Reserve a reason to raise rates in April, which would raise lending costs and constrain corporate profits. Anything over 200,000 is a good report and wage increases of 0.3% would certainly give the Fed the impetus needed to look at raising rates.

Often hidden within the Employment Report is the real story though. Wall Street might celebrate a big beat, but if the increases in jobs continue to be in the service and retail sectors, a beat becomes less than impressive. A falling dollar might have the effect of increasing manufacturing as the prices for U.S. goods fall abroad, but the dollar is still quite high.

zenruption forecasts the Employment Report to disappoint somewhat. We firmly expect job creation to have backed off a little more to be right at the 200,000 mark and do not expect wage growth to have hit 0.3%. As such, we do not feel that the Fed will be discussing raising rates in April. Furthermore, as we keep seeing a tepid consumer, inflation will continue to remain tame.

What this means for our readers is that we still expect rough times ahead for the economy and feel that stocks are generally overvalued. While some stock picks previously discussed on zenruption continue to push forward, most stocks could see tough times ahead. The stock market could show a positive reaction to the Fed leaving rates unchanged in April as money stays cheap, but in the end it underlines weakness that continues to exist in the U.S. economy.

Lina Martinez is a zenruption contributor and frequently writes for our money and life sections. We think she is really cool, even if she ever does manage to have a bad market prediction. And so we continue to wait for that bad prediction just so we can call her out.


Feature photo courtesy of Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license