Was Friday’s Rally the Result of Bad Government Data?

Photo Credit: Eric Fisher

 May, the unemployment rate didn’t fall to 13.3% like almost everyone believes it did.

I’ve never seen anything like what happened on Friday when May’s unemployment rate was expected to rise to almost 20%. That would top April’s tragic 14.7% rate. But at 8:30 a.m. EDT, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the rate fell to 13.3%.

Pandemonium followed and traders started buying almost everything in the stock market. By the end of the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 3%.

But analysts like me who read BLS’s full press release noted something strange on the sixth page of the 42-page report.

Read more here.

I’ve never seen a time when government data was deliberately misleading like this. Without a precedent, we should assume the worst and prepare for a reaction equal to or greater than Friday’s initial reaction.