It's time for financial bears to hibernate

Investors are about to face a news drought, following on from Friday's US payroll data.

Kit Juckes of Societe Generale says that should be enough to send financial bears, particularly of the emerging markets variety, into hibernation.

We're going to need to wait "until the snow melts and the true data pictures emerges", he says.

Friday saw news that the US economy had only added 74,000 jobs in December, well below the 196,000 that analysts had been expecting.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that poor weather conditions had been a major factor in the disappointing jobs numbers, Juckes suggests that we won't know whether the data's weakness was actually all weather related for a couple more months.

The next jobs release, scheduled for 7 February, won't provide much clarity as weather-distortions will continue to play havoc with labour markets.

Juckes thinks that "the underlying momentum of the economy is picking up," but that's probably not going to silence the bears.

He says that those "who feel completely differently are going to be noisy in the days ahead and the next data point, tomorrow's December retail sales, will probably be soft enough to encourage them."