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Volatile Trade Talks Rattle Markets

Yields rose a bit this week in volatile trading, as the trade sanctions situation with China evolved throughout the week.  The rhetoric invoked sent equities lower on multiple occasions, dragging Treasury yields lower with them.  However, the mid-week increase in yields during a respite in trade talks was sufficient to pull yields higher on the week. 

The focus of the week's economic calendar was Friday's monthly payrolls report, which arrived slightly weaker than forecast.  The report indicated that 103,000 jobs were added in February, falling short of the 185,000 forecast.  The unemployment rate  remained at 4.1%, while the underemployment rate fell from 8.2% to 8.0%.  The job gain was widely viewed as sufficient to keep the Fed's path of monetary policy on track, although a rebound will be expected next month.  The U.S. economy needs approximately 80,000-100,000 new jobs per month to accomodate new labor market entrants.

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