Setting economic expectations, for fun and profit (and confusion)

Here’s a dreary outlook, before today’s payrolls report: U.S. Employment Probably Slowed in October as Housing Slumped.

And the story, immediately thereafter: Jobs in U.S. Increase by 166,000, Signaling Economy Will Avoid Recession.

Among the confusing statements:

Service industries, which include banks, insurance companies, restaurants and retailers, added 190,000 workers last month after gaining 127,000 jobs in September. Retailers cut 21,500 jobs after eliminating 12,300 in September.

While service industries, which includes retailers, grew payrolls, retailers (those “servicing” the all important consumer spending) cut them.

I wonder what the outcome would be if everyone set expectations and kept them in a sealed manilla envelope until after the Labor Department released their numbers. No matter, the markets didn’t like the “rosy” report anyway.

UPDATE: More.