Wall Street and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are continuing the trend seen all this week, at least in early trading: tight ranges wavering between positive and negative. The cause? A jobs report that was decent, but not what economists were hoping for.

Filings for unemployment benefits fell for the first time by 6,000. Economists were expecting a bigger drop, so the news was greeted with shrugs. Although it’s not thrilling, it’s being taken as a sign that the labor market is easing up. Even small improvements are moves in the right direction.

The U.S. trade deficit decreased to 6.6% in January, but the markets are going to need a little more than that after news from China. Prices in the country rose 2.7% last month from a year earlier. There probably won’t be a shift in economic policy, according to economists, but Chinese consumers might see a hike in loan rates in an attempt to tamp out inflation. That could, in turn, slow China’s growth. Claymore/AlphaShares China All-Cap (NYSEArca: YAO) is down about 1% this morning. [Play the Yuan With These ETFs.]

The news from China also hit the materials sector as investors question what monetary tightening would mean for demand for raw goods and other items China has been gobbling up for the last year-plus. Materials Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLB) is down slightly this morning. [China ETF Plays: One Country, Many Options.]

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.