The U.S. Labor Department is out with its report on weekly jobless claims. There was a big drop of 25,000 claims, down to 370,000. Bloomberg had a consensus estimate of 380,000 and Dow Jones was calling for 375,000. Last week’s preliminary figure of 393,000 was revised to 395,000.
Investors are getting used to seeing numbers that are getting beyond the impact of Hurricane Sandy. The weekly jobless claims should be normalized by now, and even if not fully normalized the reports are going to be less and less “exceptional” as to why.
Two more readings are important within the claims. The four-week average fell by 2,250 to 408,000. The army of unemployed, measured by the continuing jobless claims, with a one week lag, fell by 100,000 to 3,205,000.
Today’s numbers are better than expected, but they are unlikely wide enough to influence the expectations for unemployment and in nonfarm payrolls that the Labor Department will announce on Friday morning.
The S&P and DJIA are both still looking for direction this morning.
JON C. OGG