Thursday Economic Reports: Better Jobless Claims, Decent Retail Sales Meet Deflation

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Thursday finally brought on a lot of new economic data for investors to peruse from the Labor Department and Commerce Department. This on the heels of several days in a row of almost no real economic reports worth noting. Released were the weekly jobless claims, retails sales and import/export prices.

Weekly jobless claims came in at 334,000, but Bloomberg had estimates of 350,000, versus a preliminary report of 346,000 last week (last week was unrevised). The four-week average fell by 7,250 to 345,250, and the continuing jobless claims (with a one-week lag) were up by 2,000 to 2,973,000.

Retail sales came out for the month of May at +0.6%, above the Bloomberg consensus estimate of 0.5% on the headline data. Ex-auto retail sales were up by 0.3%, versus the Bloomberg consensus of 0.4%. This was pretty much right in line with estimates.

The last reading that the investment community was looking at was the import and export prices for the month of May. This is an inflation (or deflation) barometer. Import prices were down by 0.6%, versus a Bloomberg consensus of 0.0%. Export prices were down 0.5%, versus the Bloomberg expectation of -0.1%. Non-petroleum import prices fell 0.3% and petroleum import prices declined 2.0% in May.

So in a nutshell: better-than-expected jobless claims, marginally rising retail sales and deflation. S&P 500 futures are down four points and DJIA futures are down about 30 points. The 10-year Treasury note’s yield is up at 2.23% so far this morning.

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