The U.S. Labor Department is out with its report on weekly jobless claims. There was a big drop of 27,000 claims, down to 343,000. Bloomberg had a consensus estimate of 370,000, the same as last week’s total. Last week’s preliminary figure of 370,000 was revised to 373,000.
The November spike of 90,000 new claims, nearly entirely due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy, has now been sifted out of the weekly numbers, and this week’s total is back in line with the trend before the storm hit.
The four-week average fell by 2,250 to 381,500 from last week’s 408,500. The army of unemployed, measured by the continuing jobless claims, with a one week lag, fell by 23,000 to 3,198,000.
Today’s numbers are much better than expected, but the impact on premarket trading has been slight. Yields on Treasuries rose following this morning’s report as bond traders see signs of a slightly stronger economy going forward. The S&P and DJIA are both still looking for direction this morning.