From Market Watch:

1.The jobs picture darkens

2. Energy prices continue to vault higher

3. Interest rates start to escalate

4. Contrarian indicators like the VIX reach new extremes

5. Corporate earnings results disappoint

Only 1 or 2 of the above could wind up being the market’s “justification” for taking the prices lower.

The ADP National Employment Report® is a measure of nonfarm private employment, based on a subset of aggregated and anonymous payroll data that represents approximately 400,000 of ADP’s 500,000 U.S. business clients. The release for March begins as follows:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 8:15 A.M. ET
Nonfarm private employment decreased 742,000 from February to March 2009 on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the ADP National Employment Report®. The estimated change of employment from January to February was revised down by 9,000, from a decline of 697,000 to a decline of 706,000.

FT reports the ADP number for this month is foreboding for the Friday non-farm payrolls number:

“The ADP survey sent ripples of concern through markets on Wednesday that the US government’s monthly jobs data – seen as one of the most important indicators of the US economy’s health – would also be dire when released on Friday.

“It’s a terrible number. It is almost a loss of three quarters of a million jobs which is possibly the highest we have seen so far over the length of this crisis. Obviously [it is] foreboding ahead of [Friday’s] non-farm payrolls report,” said Matt Esteve, foreign exchange trader at Tempus Consulting.”

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock:

“A MetLife study released last week found that 50% of Americans said they have only a one-month cushion — roughly two paychecks — or less before they would be unable to fully meet their financial obligations if they were to lose their jobs. More disturbing is that 28% said they could not make ends meet for longer than two weeks without their jobs.”

Mike quotes Britt Beemer, chief executive of America’s Research Group:

“American consumers are hunkered down, bracing for a depression…The dramatic drops in shopping levels have no match in our database in the last 30 years.”

To the rhetorical question: is this setting up hyperinflation?, Mike responds:

“No, this madness is nowhere close to causing hyperinflation. You do not get hyperinflation with this much consumer and corporate debt when unemployment is soaring globally, overcapacity is rampant, and wages are falling. Please see Fiat World Mathematical Model for more details.”