Trump breaks protocol, sends markets a clear signal on jobs report before numbers are released data recovery iphone 4s

Treasury yields moved sharply higher within seconds of a tweet from Trump that said he was "looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning." He had never issued such a tweet before. Bloomberg News data also showed that the value of the U.S. dollar moved sharply higher after the Twitter post compared with previous trades the mornings jobs data are released. That means traders were probably making investment decisions based on signals they took from Trump’s post.

White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said on CNBC on Friday morning that he briefed Trump on the details of the report Thursday evening, calling him on Air Force One. That means Trump had detailed knowledge of the specifics of the jobs report, knowing that it would be strong and better than expected.


The jobs data come out once a month and often can lead to massive buying or selling trends on Wall Street, depending on how the information is received. It is extremely closely held and kept under tight control until it is released at 8:30 a.m. on the first Friday of each month. A select number of administration officials receive the data the day before, but officials are prohibited from tipping their hand about what the numbers reveal.

But it led to an outcry from Democrats and Republicans, particularly veterans of past White House teams, who said the restrictions in place are meant to both prevent the politicization of these reports and leaks of market-moving information. Ari Fleischer, who served as press secretary to President George W. Bush, said of Trump’s post: "This certainly was a no-no. The advance info is sacrosanct – not to be shared."

Former treasury secretary Lawrence Summers said it was a remarkable breach that in the past would have led to multiple investigations. He tweeted "If during the Clinton or Obama Administrations there had been a statement from POTUS or anyone senior official in the morning before the Employment Report it would have been a major scandal-with all sorts of investigations following on."

In fact, a strong jobs report often leads investors to sell equities and buy government debt because they will reap the benefits of higher interest rates. That’s why giving the market any kind of clue ahead of time is extremely unusual. A federal rule from 1985 prohibits any federal worker from commenting on the jobs report for at least one hour after its release, though the Trump administration has breached that standard a few times by commenting less than an hour after the release. But administration officials never appeared to comment before the report came out as Trump did on Friday.

Jason Furman, who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration, said this data has remained closely guarded for years, with many Cabinet members even shielded from the information until it becomes public.

During the Obama administration, Trump would often ridicule the jobs data, saying it consisted of fake numbers assembled by Democrats to make the economy look rosy. He has championed the data since becoming president, though, particularly when it reflects strength.

Trump has tried to tie the success of his presidency to the success of the economy. In November and December, he routinely posted daily updates on the rising stock market, attributing it to his tenure. He has largely stopped this since the Dow Jones Industrial Average peaked in January, sliding down more than 2,000 amid fears of a prolonged trade war.

The economy has strengthened during his time in office, though many metrics are mostly consistent with the post-financial-crisis recovery that began in 2009. Unemployment has steadily improved, economic growth has ticked up slightly, and wage growth has been slight.

Trump has, on at least one other occasion, publicly revealed the contents of a tightly held government report before its release. In April 2017, he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that the Treasury Department would not soon label China a "currency manipulator." Government officials have traditionally kept that information very confidential before it is released by Treasury.

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