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September 5, 2013  Thu 9:10 AM CT

SPX: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
What is a good number? That's what I am stuck on right now. I don't know what employment number the stock market would like to see in the government's non-farms payroll report tomorrow.

We know that the bond market didn't flinch yesterday when we saw strong auto sales. But later when we saw a good Beige Book with strong commentary about housing, that started to send bonds down. So do we want a strong jobs number? A weak one? Or do we just want it over with, either way?

When you don't know what number to look for, it's really hard to figure out where you should be. Yesterday saw strength in the cyclicals, some of which is directly involved with good Chinese and European manufacturing numbers. You can therefore take away, at least for now, that good news is good news.

TheStreet.com logoYet I think that anything too strong will just take rates to 3 percent, and while I think that this economy can handle such a jolt, we know that mortgage rates will go higher. We had a nice reprieve this week from a big drop in mortgage applications because rates dipped.

But if we get a strong number on Friday, don't we hit 3 percent, and is it worth waiting until Monday to buy?

One of the reasons that we felt it was right to sell some marginal stocks into strength to raise some cash is that I don't really know the answer to what we want. That means, I fear, the market doesn't know either.

If it doesn't know, then there's not much to game. So we pick at stocks that are below our cost basis, and we wait.
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