Friday, April 02, 2004


This would be incredibly irresponsible.

WASHINGTON, April 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. Labor Department said on Friday it had no evidence the March paryolls data was leaked ahead of its official release time, as some financial market participants have speculated.

"We have no evidence of a leak," Labor Department spokesman Gary Steinberg told Reuters.

Ralph Axel, senior vice president and fixed-income strategist at HSBC Securities in New York, said the market started moving around 8:28 a.m. (1328 GMT) -- about two minutes before the surprising gain in March payrolls was officially released by the Labor Department.

"(Treasury Secretary) Snow came out early on and said this is going to be a big number. There seems to have been a leak," Axel said.

...maybe Reuters jumped the gun:

March Job Growth Strongest in 4 Years
Friday April 2, 8:28 am ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. employment rose last month at the fastest pace in nearly four years, easily outstripping expectations, as workers returned after a grocery store strike and construction hiring bounced back on better weather, a government report on Friday showed.

The latest report from the Labor Department offered comfort to President Bush as the jobs market - a hot political issue in the U.S. presidential campaign -- finally made a decisive break to the upside.

Non-farm payrolls climbed 308,000 in March, the Labor Department said, the biggest gain since April 2000 and well above the 103,000 rise expected on Wall Street.

...Reuters blames computer.