Stocks are trading lower today as February’s jobs report indicates that an interest rate hike could come sooner rather than later, although probably not until wage gains strengthen further. The jobs report crushed expectations of 235,000-240,000 in February, showing a gain of 295,000 jobs. Considering the rough winter most of the country has had, this is surprising news. This is the 12th straight month that the economy has gained over 200,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent, which is the lowest unemployment rate since May 2008, before the financial crisis. However, despite this, hourly wages notched up by 0.1 percent, which is off the surprising 0.5 percent gain that occurred in January. The graph below from CNN shows the job gains since February of last year.