Well, we got that over with. Investors were looking for some sort of confirmation either way on the jobs front. The April unemployment report came out this morning and while the headline rate fell a notch to 5.4%, the number of new non-farm payroll jobs created was mostly in line with projections at stock market events223,000 new paychecks. Stocks rallied at the news by triple digits and the Dow closed comfortably above 18,000, rising as high as 275 points.

This triple digit rally is probably more of a sign of relief than anything else. 233,000 new jobs is respectable but it’s no barn-burner. Something over 300,000 or better is a barn burner but this news simply makes investors wipe their brows and exhale. The March jobs numbers were revised downward as well to 85,000 new jobs from the 126,000 initially reported. What recovery?

Mortgage bonds and Treasury yields recovered as well and moved in tandem with stocks. The report was strong enough to indicate a continued, albeit tepid as well as questionable, recovery while not strong enough to move the Fed closer to raising rates. Take into consideration the revised payroll figures for March along with the initial Q1 GDP number of 0.2% and you’ve got a very ho-hum economy. The report also pointed out that wage growth as measured by hourly earnings increased a scant 2.2% compared to the same time last year. That should put another nail in the coffin of inflation as consumers aren’t bringing home additional income to go out and buy things.

The Fed’s target of 2.00% inflation is well beyond the horizon and if the economy continues to move in this manner we’ll see stocks wallow around current levels and interest rates relatively low. The 30 year average mortgage rate was 3.80% while just one year ago it pegged at 4.25%. Meager earnings for stocks, non-existent wage growth and sleepy employment figures look to be our future for the next few months.